...but the hermit-like isolation and lack of domestic duties does give me ACRES of time to sort through all my astro stuff. "Another drink Iain?" "What a good idea" "Time for the washing up?" "Leave it for another day. Just do the one glass."
This is special. Remember my very dim, very dodgy planetary nebula NGC 2022?
As a rule, planetaries are pretty small and dim. NGC 2022 is 28" in diameter and 12th magnitude (what does this mean? see previous post) but some are much brighter and bigger. One of the biggest and best is the Eskimo Nebula NGC 2392, visible in binoculars in the constellation of Gemini on winter evenings.
Wikipedia describes it as a bipolar double-shell Planetary Nebula, which I think means it gets depressed a lot.
How bright is it? Different sites give different answers. This one says it is Magnitude 9.1 which means it is about 15 too dim to see with the naked eye but 15 times brighter than NGC 2022.
This site also says it is 5000 light years away, and others say less than 3000.
It appears to us as 0.8' x 0.7' in diameter. How big is this compared with NGC 2022? About twice the size.
In large scopes it looks like a face with a "furry" hood around it, hence the name.
Ok, enough of all this, you want to see my photo. As usual, I couldn't even be sure I was pointing the scope in the right direction so I took multiple images and hoped for the best. After a lot of searching through dozens of images, looking at star charts, etc I found it:
Dah Dah! Impressive isn't it?
What do you mean "Where?!"
Bottom centre of course.
The central bright area is visible but not the furry shell. Let's boost the levels in Photoshop:
Oh, that's rubbish isn't it? :-(
But wait, why am I working with the JPG file? This isn't the Stone Age! Let's use the RAW file.
Ah, now THAT's better ;-)
There are 26 PNs visible from the Northern Hemisphere, and I'd like to bag as many as possible: