PK 315-00.1 in the constellation Centaurus

Our direct neighboring star system, with the bright star Alpha Centauri as its main star, attracts attention at every star gazing under southern sky.

Much less known, however, is this beautiful planetary nebula, located only 1.5 lunar diameters west of Alpha Centauri. The small central part is very bright and stands out even in shorter exposed images. The fragmented outer shell is much fainter and requires longer exposure times.

larger image
Optics: Planewave CDK 12.5 with Televue 0.8x reducer
Aperture: 318 mm
Focal Length: 2030 mm
Camera: QHY163M
Exposure: R:G:B 4:4:4 x 300 s
Hα 29 x 600 s
Location: Chamaeleon Observatory, Onjala Lodge, Namibia
Processing: Nebulosity, StarTools, Starnet++, Photoshop
Diameter:37 light years
Distance:11,500 light years
annotated image

image field in the sky