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Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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Owl Nebula , Nicholas Isles

Owl Nebula

This is Messier Object 97, commonly called the Owl Nebula. The Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula discovered by Pierre Méchain on 16 February 1781. It was first classified as a planetary nebula by Admiral William H. Smyth in 1844, and given the name "Owl Nebula" by Lord Rosse in 1848. The Nebula's mass has been estimated at .15 Solar Masses, with a central star of .7 Solar Masses, and estimated distances rang from 1,300 light years to 12,000 light years.


Visually the Owl Nebula is magnitude 9.7 or 9.9 bright, by Machholz and Hynes respectively. Photographically the nebula appears about magnitude 12, as most of its light is emitted in one green spectral line. William Huggins recognized the Owl Nebula as a gaseous nebula when he observed two lines in its spectrum in 1866.


Right Ascension (J2000) 11 : 14.8 (h:m)
Declination (J2000) +55 : 01 (deg:m)
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds for all

November, 27 2004, 1:52 UTC (C)
November, 4 2004, 3:02 UTC (B) November, 4 2004, 3:07 UTC (V) November, 4 2004, 3:13 UTC (R)