Best of AOP - Planetary Nebulae

NGC 3242: Ghost of Jupiter

This planetary nebula is often called the "Ghost of Jupiter" since it is fairly large and round, though MUCH dimmer than its namesake. Even a small telescope under bright skies can be used to view this nebula. Its color is an unmistakable blue/green. Views through a larger telescope reveal the inner torus and central star (white dwarf). Located in the constellation of Hydra, NGC 3242 is easily found just beneath (South of) Mu Hydrae. It is estimated to be 1400 light years away.

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Last Updated: 19-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Four iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 40 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 40 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 40 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF