Blue Racquetball (NGC 6572)

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


This plantetary nebula was discovered on 18 July 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 07s
Declination (J2000.0)+06° 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.

Chart Blue Racquetball (NGC 6572)
Blue Racquetball (NGC 6572) in constellation Ophiuchus. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±20°)


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)