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September 2002

NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula in Cygnus

The bubble-like nebula in this image is the Crescent Nebula - a bubble blown by the wind from a massive star, similar to the Bubble Nebula (see November). It lies in the constellation Cygnus. The star that blew this bubble is in its late stages of evolution - it will, one day, explode as a supernova. This will happen relatively "soon," though for astronomers soon means in a few million years or so.

This image was obtained using the same CCD camera as the other images, but attached to a short focal length camera lens, so as to see a field 4 times the diameter of the full moon. In this false color image, the red color is the light of hydrogen gas, the green image is that of oxygen, and the blue color is a "broadband" blue.