Planetary Nebula

/Planetary Nebula

NGC 1514 Crystal Ball Nebula

By |2018-12-06T21:42:19+00:006 December 2018|Categories: News, NGC Winter, Planetary Nebula|

A chance find, discovered on the way to finding comet 46P. Telescope was unbalanced so guiding was poor. Very noisy image so no real details. Would like to do more with this.

Object ID NGC 1514  Crystal Ball Nebula, Taurus
Details Mag 9.43 Size 2.2′
Poor transparency
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Baader RGB filters
Exposure(s) 5x60s 2×2 each RGB
Capture APT
Guiding PHD2
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop

NGC 1514 is a planetary nebula that was discovered by William Herschel on November 13, 1790, describing it “A most singular phaenomenon” and forcing him to rethink his ideas on the construction of the heavens. Up until this point Herschel was convinced that all nebulae consisted of masses of stars too remote to resolve, but now here was a single star “surrounded with a faintly luminous atmosphere.” He went on to conclude “Our judgement I may venture to say, will be, that the nebulosity about the star is not of a starry nature”.

It has since been conjectured that the nebula in fact envelops a tightly orbiting double star with a period of up to 10 days. Gas is presumably expanding away from the larger star of the pair.


M97 (NGC 3587) Owl Nebula

By |2017-03-01T11:22:52+00:001 March 2017|Categories: M91+, News, Planetary Nebula|

Planetary Nebula, Ursa Major, Owl Nebula
Mag 9.9, size 3.4’x3.3′
200mm f8 RC
Piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
L 22×240s 2×2, RGB 11×120s 4×4 Darks Bias Flats
Atik 460EX (-25C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

The Owl Nebula (also known as Messier 97, M97 or NGC 3587) is a planetary nebula located approximately 2,030 light years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It was discovered by French astronomer Pierre Méchain on February 16, 1781. When William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, observed the nebula in 1848, his hand-drawn illustration resembled an owl’s head. It has been known as the Owl Nebula ever since.

The nebula is approximately 8,000 years old. It is approximately circular in cross-section with a little visible internal structure. It was formed from the outflow of material from the stellar wind of the central star as it evolved along the asymptotic giant branch. The nebula is arranged in three concentric shells, with the outermost shell being about 20–30% larger than the inner shell. The owl-like appearance of the nebula is the result of an inner shell that is not circularly symmetric, but instead forms a barrel-like structure aligned at an angle of 45° to the line of sight.

The nebula holds about 0.13 solar masses of matter, including hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur; all with a density of less than 100 particles per cubic centimeter. Its outer radius is around 0.91 ly (0.28 pc) and it is expanding with velocities in the range of 27–39 km/s into the surrounding interstellar medium.

The 14th magnitude central star has since reached the turning point of its evolution where it condenses to form a white dwarf. It has 55–60% of the Sun’s mass, 41–148 times the brightness of the Sun, and an effective temperature of 123,000 K. The star has been successfully resolved by the Spitzer Space Telescope as a point source that does not show the infrared excess characteristic of a circumstellar disk.


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M57 (NGC 6720)

By |2013-11-03T16:38:49+00:0029 August 2009|Categories: M31-60, Planetary Nebula, Slideshow|

Ring Nebula, Planetary Nebula, Lyra
Mag 8.8, Size 1.4’x1.0′
200mm f5 Newtonian, Canon 350D
Guided, SW LPR filter, MPCC
10x60s subs, darks, guided ISO 800
Processed in Nebulosity and PhotoShop CS5

Ring Nebula, Planetary Nebula, Lyra
Mag 8.8, Size 1.4’x1.0′
180m f15 Mak-Cass, Canon EOS 350D
3x20s subs, 3x20s darks ISO 800
Processed in DSS and PhotoShop CS3
First attempts with the DSLR. More work required.Ring Nebula, Planetary Nebula, LyraMag 8.8, Size 1.4’x1.0′


180m f15 Mak-Cass, Canon EOS 350D

3x20s subs, 3x20s darks ISO 800

Processed in DSS and PhotoShop CS3

First attempts with the DSLR. More work required.

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