A Bowshock Nebula Near the Neutron Star RX J1856.5-3754
April 27, 2005
False-colour composite photo of the sky field with the lonely neutron star RX J1856.5-3754 and the related cone-shaped nebula. It is based on a series of exposures obtained with the multi-mode FORS2 instrument at VLT KUEYEN through three different optical filters: R (29 exposures of 136 sec each; ~1.1 hrs total; here rendered as green); H-alpha (19; 1020 sec; ~5.5 hrs; red); and B (10; 138 sec; ~0.4 hrs; blue). The seeing was good to excellent during the exposures (0.66 arcsec on average). The trails of some moving objects, most likely asteroids in the solar system, are seen in the field with intermittent blue, green and red colours. The large field (PR Photo 23a/00 ) measures 6.6 x 6.7 arcmin2, with 0.2 arcsec/pixel.
Topics: Stars, Astronomy, Physics, Alpha, RX J1856.5-3754, Radio-quiet neutron stars, Neutron stars, Exotic matter, Nebula, Very Large Telescope