The Crescent Nebula, also known as NGC 6888, is a nebula lighted up by a central Wolf-Rayet star, WR 136, whose ultraviolet radiation is responsible for heating and ionising most of the material ejected by the star during previous evolutionary phases.
The strong winds blown by the central, massive star are interacting with the previously expelled material and as a result, the nebula shows a complex structure which resembles a crescent red Moon.
This image was obtained and processed by members of the IAC astrophotography group (A. Oscoz, D. López, P. Rodríguez-Gil and L. Chinarro) and it was selected as "Astronomy Picture of the Day", 15th September 2009.
Astronomy Picture of the Day - NGC 6888: The Crescent Nebula
NGC 6888 - IAC Astrophoto July 2009
IAC Astronomical Picture of the Month