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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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M97 Owl Nebula, Josh Rebba

Owl Nebula

The image shown here is the Owl Nebula. Its appearance has been interpreted as the head of an owl with the holes for its eyes and a hole for its mouth. The image reveals that in the background of this nebula, there are several small nebulous objects, probably very distant galaxies.

"The researchers concluded that the halo of the Owl was formed when the parent star first underwent significant mass loss after fusion at its core stopped. Instabilities then produced a stellar wind, driven by a combination of stellar pulsations and radiation pressure." Evolution of the Owls parent star caused the stellar wind to intensify to a "superwind," driving even more gas and dust outward to form the middle shell. "A subsequent faster stellar wind compressed the superwind to form the inner shell and bipolar cavity, but that wind has since ceased." The angular size of the Owl Nebula is 3 minutes. The diameter of the Owl Nebula is 2.3 light years.

References:
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/owl_nebula_030710.html

http://www.seds.org/messier/data3.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 11:14:48
Declination (J2000) +55:01:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 60 seconds for each filter
Date observed

March 21, 2006 (C)
April 8, 2006(B)
March 14, 2006 (V)(R)