Eight-burst Nebula (NGC 3132)

NGC 3132 (Eight-burst Nebula)

NGC 3132. Image by Hubble Space Telescope.

The Eight-burst Nebula (NGC 3132) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vela, also known as the Southern Ring Nebula. The simple nebular oval evident to visual observers transforms into several superimposed glowing rings on long exposures. Neither the unusual shape of the peripheral shell nor the structure and placements of the filamentary dust lanes running across the nebula are well understood. Two stars – one of 10th magnitude, the other of 16th – can be seen lying close together at the center of the nebula. The fainter of these is believed to be the source of the nebular gas.


visual magnitude 8
angular size 1.4' × 0.9'
linear diameter 0.4 light-year
distance ~2,000 light-years (610 pc)
position RA 10h 07m 02s;
Dec -40° 26' 11"
other designations HD 87892, PN G272.1+12.3,
PN ARO 504