Features in the Gallery: Saturn

Saturn Nebula

This recently submitted image looks nothing like the ringed planet Saturn we all know and love.

It turns out that there is a planetary nebula named the Saturn NebulaSkyView displays images of objects outside our solar system so when “saturn” was entered as a target on the SkyView Query Form the name resolvers we use to identify coordinates returned coordinates for the Saturn Nebula.  Planetary nebulae are clouds of interstellar matter ejected by stars as they die. Planetary nebulae are not related to planets but were given the name when they were discovered because they looked like gaseous planets.

The Saturn Nebula is also known as NGC 7009 and is in the constellation Aquarius approximately 1400 light years away.  Here is another image of this object.

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5 Responses to Features in the Gallery: Saturn

  1. andri says:

    i love saturn 🙂

  2. Adam Barr says:

    Never knew that there was a planetary nebula named Saturn, I always though that planetary nebulae was exploded stars forming new stars and planets?

  3. Tom McGlynn says:

    Sorry for the long delay. You may be thinking of supernovae which are exploding stars. Stars like our sun do not have enough mass to go supernova. They expand to red giants with a dense core and the very large but tenuous outer atmosphere. Eventually they blow off the atmosphere and the core turns into a white dwarf. The blown off atmosphere becomes a planetary nebula until it disperses.

  4. pedro says:

    hi I have a question , I have seen a pic in infrared on the skyview image gallery from 2009 , it lloks like 2 eyes and a smille 😛 like a smilling guy hehe , but what I know the IRAS team says it is saturn , but it is 2 stars? looks strange to me or dont look as saturn at all if you ask me 😛 is it really saturn? you can search on skyview image gallery 2009 on google , then it stands oldest- sky view image gallery then you have it on the first page uploaded 2009-03-27 I think it many pics of it

  5. Tom McGlynn says:

    The observations you note are discussed in the comments of the blog entry at
    You see two images of Saturn because the image shown in the IRAS survey adds together two separate scans (three for some parts of the image) separated by a few weeks in time. Saturn moved a bit between the two scans.

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