Monday, March 28, 2011

Owl Nebula (M97)

This is a back yard image from my home in Midland, TX. This was taken on March 27, 2011. It is a 4 min exposure with a total of 30 exposures. Exposed for two hours with the images stacked and processed to get the greatest images. I used a light pollution filter (no surprise here) and the sky was clear with a hazy sky with some dust in the air. Seeing was average and transparency was good over all.

M97 or the Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula around 2600 light years from Earth. It is located in the constellation Ursa Major (or near the Big Dipper). Not surprisingly, the Owl Nebula gets its name for it's round shape and dark areas making it appear like the face of an Owl. To see the two dark areas in the object, you will need at least an 8" telescope.

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