An ancient planetary

Imaged by Eric Coles from Sierra Remote Observatories in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, processed by Bob Fera

Planetary nebulae are beautiful, ephemeral objects created as a dying star lets go of its outer layers, blowing them away in stellar winds. This gas usually cools and disperses within 20,000 years. But the Methuselah Nebula (MWP1), 4,500 light-years away in Cygnus, has defied expectations and appears to be 150,000 years old, based on its size (also large) and how fast the material is expanding. This image was taken with a 20-inch scope at f/7.7 in Hα/OIII/RGB filters with exposure times of 410, 270, 90, 90, and 90 minutes, respectively.