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Owl Nebula (M97,NGC 3587)
Eric Huizenga

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Owl Nebula

The Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula in the constellation Ursa Major.It consists of a glowing gaseous envelope shed by a dying sun-like star as it runs out of nuclear fuel. The nebula was formed roughly 6,000 years ago and it is one of the fainter, but most complex objects in Messier’s catalog. Cataloged as M97, the Owl Nebula gets its name due to the appearance of owl-like “eyes” when viewed through a telescope.

In the image are three bright stars which hover around the dark spots, or eyes. The Owl Nebula is 2,600 light years away from the sun and has a solar mass of 0.15. According to the photograph taken by Calvin’s telescope, the angular diameter is roughly 3 arcminutes. The linear size of the Owl Nebula is about 2 light years.

Frommert, Hartmut, and Christine Kronberg. "Messier 97." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Accessed 6 Dec. 2010. < >

Neata, Emil. "M97 - Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major." Night Sky Info, Web. 6 Dec. 2010. <>

Nemiroff, Robert and Jerry Bonnell. "M97: The Owl Nebula" Astronomy Picture of the Day. 2009 May 15 11. Accessed 3 Dec. 2010. <>

Right Ascension (J2000) 11:15:27
Declination (J2000) 54:57:03
Filters used


Exposure time per filter 4x300 in Clear filter
Date observed

October 28, 2010. 5:35 am, 5:41 am, 5:47 am, 5:52 am.



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