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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Clown Face Nebula, Wayne Bowerman

Clown Face Nebula

This is NGC 2392 also called the Eskimo Nebula or the Clown Face Nebula. It is in the constellation of Gemini. The Clown Face nebula was discovered by William Herschel in 1787. It is said to be anywhere from 3,000 - 5,000 light years from our solar system, and it is moving away from us at 75 km/sec. The nebula is expanding at a rate of 60 km/sec. In a better image you can see what looks like the "Eskimo's furry parka" Which is actually a disk of material "embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails streaming away from the central, dying star."

As you can see the stars in this image are slightly elongated. This is due to movement in the telescopic camera while taking the picture with the blue and clear filters. It is a beautiful image nonetheless. It reminds me of one of my favorite Psalms:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19:1-6)

References:

http://www.macalester.edu/astronomy/research/phys20/P20-2001/GN/clownface.htm

http://www.seds.org/~spider/spider/Misc/n2392.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 7:2912.0
Declination (J2000) +20:54:20.0
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 60 seconds in BVR&C
Date observed

March 14 , 2006 (RV)
March 21, 2006 (C)
April 4, 2006 (B)