NGC 246, a planetary nebula in the constellation of Cetus is about 1600 light-years from Earth. NGC 246 is also known as the Skull Nebula. The progenitor is the white dwarf seen at the center of the nebula. At a distance of 1900 AU it is orbited by another star. In 2014 using ESO’s VLT a dim red dwarf was discovered to be orbiting the white dwarf at a distance of 500 AU. This makes NGC 246 the first known planetary nebula with a triplet system at its center.
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Image data: HIIOIII-RGB (360-200-100-120-100 min) total 14,7 h,
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller Cassegrain, FLI PL-16803, Astrodon gen2 filters, Prompt 7 CTIO Chile
Processing: Konstantin Buchhold
The first image shows a close-up of NGC 246, the second shows a comparison of the Chart32 image with images obtained by the ESO VLT and Gemini Telescopes and the third the slightly cropped entire field of view.