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Commonly known as the Helix Nebula, this planetary nebula is a relatively close 300 light years from Earth and spans approximately 2.5 light years. Energy from the central star illuminates previously expelled gases as the center star nears its "white dwarf" stage.

Image acquired using SBIG St-10XME camera with Astrodon filter set through a modified (APO) 80mm Orion Express telescope with a William Optics focal reducer attached.

60 minutes Luminance, 30 minutes each through Red,Green and Blue filters, 1x1 binning.

Five minute sub-frames.

Image acquired at the 2009 CalStar Star Party at Lake San Antonio, CA