NGC 2818A, a planetary nebula and open cluster, NGC 2818
AAO image reference AAT 80.    « Previous || Next »

NGC 2818A, a planetary nebula and open cluster, NGC 2818, ngc2818.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 10 arc min
Image and text © 1993-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

The open cluster NGC 2818 in Pyxis is not very conspicuous because most of the brilliant, massive stars that normally distinguish such groupings have vanished as supernovae, indicating that the cluster is quite mature. The massive stars dominating the scene in young clusters leaving the fainter, long-lived stars behind. Eventually, they too come to the end of their lives, throwing off their outer layers as planetary nebulae.

The cluster is about 10,000 light years distant, so it would be reasonable to assume that the nebula (NGC 2818A) is at that distance as well. However, it probably does not, since is velocity in space is quite different from that of the group of stars. As is common with planetary nebulae, its distance is not well known.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1