YEPUN, named for Venus in the Mapuchen language of Chile, obtained an exposure of the planetary nebula Hen 2-428 (top), a stellar gas cloud approximately 7000 light years away, appearing between the constellations Sagitta and Aquila. Planetary nebulae are caused when a dying star (the bluish object at the center) ejects its outer layers. The image is a color composite of three exposures using red, green, and blue optical filters. The image quality here is 0.9 in., which met expectations considering windy and moonlit conditions.
The image served to evaluate provisionally the performance of the new telescope in terms of mechanical and optical quality. The ESO staff pronounced YEPUN fit for the subsequent commissioning phase.