The Pencil Nebula / Herschel’s Ray in RGBHO - NGC 2736

RA Zentrum: 09h00m02s.77

DEC Zentrum: -45°58′44″.3

Date: January 07. & 08. 2024

Telescope: ASA 500N, remote

  • Aperture: 500 mm
  • Focal length: 1900 mm

Recording camera: FLI PL16803

Mount: ASA DDM85 Premium

Exposure time: 7h 30′


R: 10 x 180″
G: 10 x 180″
B: 10 x 180″

Ha: 18 x 600″
Oiii: 18 x 600″

Software: Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight, Skylum Luminar AI

NGC 2736's glowing structure was formed from material ejected in a supernova explosion about 11,000 years ago. It is part of the giant Vela SNR (supernova remanent) in the southern constellation Vela (the Sail) and was discovered on March 1, 1835 by John Herschel from the Cape  of Good Hope.

The Pencil Nebula is about 815 light-years (250 parsecs) from the Solar System and moving at a speed of about 644,000 kilometers per hour (400,000 mph).

The nebula's glow comes from dense gas regions struck by the supernova shockwave. The different colors in the nebula provide information about the cooling process. Some regions are still so hot that the emission of ionized oxygen atoms dominates (blue in the image).