AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 15. Planetary Nebulae
Display, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[15.09] The Hubble Heritage Image of the Ring Nebula

H.E. Bond, C.A. Christian, J. English, L. Frattare, F. Hamilton, A. L. Kinney, Z. Levay, K. S. Noll (STScI), Hubble Heritage Team

The Hubble Heritage Project was unveiled in October 1998, with the aim of providing the public with pictorially striking images of celestial objects obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Heritage Project will primarily select the most visually compelling images available in the HST\/ archive, but will on occasion obtain new images of objects selected for their pictorial, rather than purely scientific, impact. The public will be asked to join in target selection for these new observations.

We will present a new color image of the Ring Nebula in Lyra (NGC~6720) obtained with HST's WFPC2 in October 1998. The colors were based on three narrow-band emission-line filters: [\ion{N}{2}] 6584~Å\ (red), [\ion{O}{3}] 5007~Å\ (green), and \ion{He}{2} 4686~Å\ (blue), so that the color coding corresponds to excitation level as well as approximating true colors.

In addition to its pictorial and outreach appeal, the image reveals a host of subarcsecond dark globules around the periphery of the nebula. The fact that no globules are seen projected against the central region demonstrates that their distribution is in fact toroidal or cylindrical, rather than spherical. Thus the Ring Nebula is in fact a non-spherical, axisymmetric planetary nebula (like many other PNe), which we happen to view from a direction close to its axis of symmetry.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://heritage.stsci.edu/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bond@stsci.edu

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