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Picture of the day - February 12, 2009

Planetary Nebula NGC 2818

A rather intriguing Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 2818.
Photo courtesy of NASA.           (Click on the photo for a larger view)

A quick glance at today's picture might lead you to believe that the "photographer" was standing on planet earth looking up into the heavens through an opening in some of the most ominous-looking clouds you have ever seen, but in reality those clouds are actually IN the heavens - a whopping 10,000 light years away from us in fact!

What you're looking at is NGC 2818, one of the most spectacular planetary nebulae in the known universe. The amazing Hubble Space Telescope captured a number of images of NCG 2818 through a set of narrow band filters, each of which displays the nebula's various gases in a specific color. The resulting composite of those images is the intriguing image featured above.
Visitor Comments...
    Name: Phyllis Helton
    Town: Bristol, VA

    The beauty of the universe is truly spectacular.
    Name: Beth Roberts
    Town: Cedar Bluff, IA

    You're absolutely right Mr. Rouse. The first time I looked at the photo I thought I was peering through a break in the clouds, but the bright stars scattered around the picture should have been a clue that that wasn't the case. Amazing image.

    Name: Hugo Moreno
    Town: Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico)


    Name: Henry Tillotson
    Town: San Diego, CA

    I agree - quite intriguing indeed. Great photograph today Mr. Rouse. The Hubble sure is an amazing "photographer"!

    Name: Stanley Sharpe
    Town: Eagle River, WI

    What an image you have chosen for today's picture Mr. Rouse! It gives us a rare "close-up" view of one of God's most beautiful and interesting creations. There is a lot more to our universe than the earth, moon and stars that we are all accustomed to seeing with our naked eyes, and thanks to this wonderful site and a few others we're getting to see more and more of it all the time. Keep up the good work!

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