NGC 6781


Object Type: Planetary Nebula
Scope: C-9.25" SCT
Exposure 80 minutes



Located 2,500 light years from Earth, NGC 6781 is a beautiful planetary with much exquisite detail for 8-inch or larger scopes.  Compared to the Ring Nebula it is relatively large and faint, yet not so faint that it isn't visible in small telescopes.  


It appears as an oval with a slightly darker center.  At 16.8 magnitude, the central star (a white dwarf) is probably out of reach of most instruments.


This is an almost a perfect bubble of gas cast off by a single star that has died. The bubble continues to expand; it is approximately two light years across now.