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The trickster “Blinking Planetary”Planetary nebula NGC 6826 is located about 4,200 light years from…

The trickster “Blinking Planetary”Planetary nebula NGC 6826 is located about 4,200 light years from…

The trickster “Blinking Planetary”

Planetary nebula NGC 6826 is located about 4,200 light years from Earth in Cygnus. When observers look directly at it through a small telescope, they typically see only the nebula’s sparkling-white central star. However, by averting one’s gaze, glancing away from the central star, the nebula’s bulbous dust clouds come into view. This optical trickery earned this planetary nebula the name the “Blinking Planetary.” 

Over the next several thousand years, the nebula will gradually disperse into space, and then the central star will slowly cool as it radiates its energy for billions of years as a white dwarf. 

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