NGC 6572, Blue Racquetball

NGC 6572
NGC 6572: Image taken with Hubble Space Telescope. © ESA/Hubble & NASA [534]


This plantetary nebula was discovered on July 18, 1825 by the German born astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve using the 9.6 inch f/17.8 Fraunhofer refractor at Dorpat Observatory in Russua (today called Tartu in Estonia). [274]

Physical Properties

NGC 6572 is a pretty young planetary nebula, estimated only a few thousand years old. As a result the glowing gas is still quite concentrated, which explains why it is abnormally bright. It expands at a speed of around 15 km/s. [534] The distance is estimated to 1736 pc. [145]

«Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae» Acker et al., 1992 [141]
DesignationsPN G034.6+11.8: NGC 6572, PK 34+11.1, ARO 7, VV 159, VV' 370
Right Ascension (J2000.0)18h 12m 08s
Declination (J2000.0)6° 51' 25"
Dimensions 10.8" (optical), 8." (radio)
Distance 0.42 kpc
Radial Velocity-8.5 km/s ± 0.4 km/s
Expansion Velocity 16.0 km/s (O-III), 16. km/s (N-II)
C-Star DesignationsAG +6 2201, AG82 296, BD +06 3649, EM* CDS 964, GCRV 10650, HD 166802, PLX 4174
C-Star Magnitude13.10 mag (B filter)
C-Star Spectral TypeOf/WR(H)
DiscovererSTRUVE 1825

Finder Chart

The planetary nebula NGC 6572 can be found in the constellation Ophiuchus (Serpent Bearer). The best time for observation is March through August.

Ophiuchus: NGC 6572
Chart NGC 6572
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


141Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae; A. Acker, F. Ochsenbein, B. Stenholm, R. Tylenda, J. Marcout, C. Schohn; European Southern Observatory; ISBN 3-923524-41-2 (1992); (2021-02-18)
145SIMBAD astronomical database;
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
274NGC 6822 von Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
534A dazzling planetary nebula; (2022-09-20)