Pistol Nebula

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
emission nebula
H II region
Pistol star and nebula.jpg
False-color image of the Pistol Star and Pistol Nebula, taken by NICMOS
Observation data: epoch
Right ascension 17h 46m 15.3s
Declination −28° 50′ 04″
Distance 25,000 ly
See also: Lists of nebulae

The Pistol Nebula[1] surrounds one of the most massive stars known, the Pistol Star.[2] Both are located 25,000 light years away from Earth, near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The nebula contains approximately 9.3 solar masses worth of ionized gas that was ejected by the star several thousand years ago. The nebula was named in the 1980s for its shape as seen in low resolution images that were available at the time. The Pistol Star, a luminous blue variable is 3.3 million times as bright as the Sun, and 86-92 times as massive.


  1. ^ Figer, D. F., Morris, M., Geballe, T. R., Rich, R. M., Serabyn, E., McLean, I. S., Puetter, R., & Yahil, A. 1999, High-Resolution Infrared Imaging and Spectroscopy of the Pistol Nebula: Evidence for Ejection, Astrophysical Journal, 525, 759
  2. ^ Figer, D. F., Najarro, F., Morris, M., McLean, I. S., Geballe , T. R., Ghez, A. M., & Langer, N. 1998, The Pistol Star, Astrophysical Journal, 506, 384