NGC 246

Click on image for larger version.

NGC 246 is a rather lonely and perhaps large planetary nebula in Cetus. In this example the distorted sphere of gas has many thin and thicker regions giving it an irregular "texture." Like most spherical clouds of gas the outer edges seem brighter than the center which appears void. This is a perspective effect in that more line-of-sight gas is observed towards the outer portions.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 90 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 10 minutes binned 2x2
Green = 10 minutes binned 2x2
Blue = 10 minutes binned 2x2

  • The central star of this nebula is actually two stars close in angular separation. Most likely line-of-sight, but the pair could be a binary star system? Unfortunately the bloom of the main star destroyed this companion. Instead of trying to reconstruct it after deblooming- a choice was made to present this as a single round star.
  • Taken in poor seeing. The guide star was fainter than 13.5- making color acquisition very difficult. In fact, the color data was *hand corrected* while the guider was running (since it was having so much trouble). The result was better than the intrinsic guiding- but very poor indeed (errors of 1-2.5 pixels).
  • Minimum credit line: Jeff Cremer/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF


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    Updated: 12/16/2003