Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Eskimo Nebula

As all good things must come to an end, tomorrow the University opens back up and I am back at work.  I plan to get up at about 5 AM to observe and sketch Mars, so tonight was a rather quick session to align the telescope so that everything is ready for the morning observing run.  The temperatures were warm today, resulting in a mild night with skies that were actually quite steady.  I took a look at some favorites such as the Orion NebulaM 79,  and M 37.  Then I decided to take a look at NGC 2392 (also Caldwell 39), the "eskimo nebula."  I had not observed this nebula in awhile, and decided to attempt a sketch.

Telescope: 9.25 inch SCT @ f/10
Eyepiece: 8mm Televue Ethos (293x)

The planteary nebula lies in the constellation Gemini and holds up quite well to high magnification.  The cetnral star is bright at approximately magnitude 10.5.  There is a brighter central region that is surrounded by a fainter halo of nebulosity.  There appears to be increased mottling to the northwest, perhaps part of the eskimos face that is revealed in photographs of this object.  Overall, the nebula has a distinct cometary appearance.

(This is the first sketch that I have ever scanned, and the magnified image tells me I need to practice making dots for stars...The original is much nicer!)

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