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IC 4732

PK 10-6.1

A Planetary Nebula in central Sagittarius, IC 4732 falls close to the line of the Ecliptic in the sky, a little to the north of the star Kaus Borealis, the handle of the Milk Dipper formation.

The constellation of Sagittarius lies in the direction of the Galaxy's Core, and thus IC 4732 falls between the Solar System and the Nucleus of the Milky Way. It appears to lie approximately halfway between those two points, placing it on the edge of the elliptical mass of redder Population II stars that dominate the central regions of the Galaxy.

The immense distance to IC 4732 - about 16,000 light years - makes it extremely faint in the skies of Earth. The nebula itself is only twelfth magnitude, and its central star, HD 171131, has the remarkably faint visual magnitude of +20. The entire nebula has an apparent diameter of just 0.7 arcseconds, suggesting - given its distance - that in reality it is a little less than one light year across.