A mass-loss star in IC 2220
AAO image reference AAT 24.     « Previous || Next »

A  mass-loss star in IC 2220, IC2220.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 8 arc min
Image and text © 1980-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

The bright, supergiant star at the centre of this nebula is in Carina known only by its catalogue designation, HD 65750. The nebulosity around the star is the result of light reflected by dust surrounding it. The dust is thought to consist mainly of particles of silica condensed from material which the star is losing from its distended surface at a fairly steady rate. The rate of mass loss is much higher than in normal stars and is sufficient to produce the reflection nebula IC 2220.

The stellar nature of the central object is revealed by the four diffraction spikes extending from it. These are artefacts due to structures within the telescope. The light from the star has also produced the annular halation ring (a photographic artefact) that ornaments the nebula. These features, real or otherwise, have provoked the name 'Toby Jug' for this nebula, after the ornamental English drinking vessel or beer mug.

Related Images
AAT 88.  IC 2220, deep image of the Toby Jug nebula
Constellation of Carina (external site)

For details of photographic exposure, search technical table by AAT reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1