The Cheerio Nebula

NGC 6337

A Planetary Nebula in Scorpius

Image exposure:
75 minutes
Image field of view:
38.5 x 25 arcmin
Image date:

For the last few months I’ve been using my Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, taking advantage of its narrow field of view to image the small objects which don’t suit my wider field refracting ‘scope.

Some of these have been planetary nebulae – and I’m hot on the trail for more of these beautiful end of life death throes of stars, before I go wide -field again in a few months time.

Believe it or not, NGC 6337 was named after a breakfast cereal.

This is an annular (toroid) type planetary nebula, viewed pole-on, with an age of about 20-24,000 years, which is short by astronomical standards but longish for this transitional class of object.

The central star is a white dwarf with an unseen main sequence companion in a close 0.17 day orbit. Ref. The separation of about 1.26 solar radius is an indication that the two stars might be sharing a common envelope.

Here is a clickable cropped version:

NGC 6337
Image field of view: 9.87 x 6.55 arcmin

Image date: 2022-06-22

The classic regular ring structure is interesting , bearing in mind the complication of a double star system at the centre. All the other stars in the image are either foreground or background to the nebula.

Telescope:Meade LX-90 200mm Schmidt-Cassegrain
(deforked); 2000 mm f/l @ f/10.
Optics:Astronomik light pollution filter.
Mount & Guiding:SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled.

Images © Roger Powell

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  1. It looks a lot like the “information” icon . . . I wonder what we’d learn if we could click on it.

    (also, the logo of The Incredibles” comes to mind.


        1. Actually, I’m fairly certain that only the central star (with its invisible close companion) is inside the nebula. The others are background/foreground stars but when you look at star-fields in images like the feature image, it is always interesting to see curved or straight lines of stars – which really are direct associations.

          Liked by 1 person

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