The Owl Nebula is a faint planetary nebula which can be found in the constellation Ursa Major.

The round shape and the two dark patches resemble the face of an owl. Its distance is still uncertain, estimates range from 1.300 to 12.000 light years, although 2.600 light years is most commonly used.
The central star is of magnitude 16, the age of this nebula is about 6.000 years.

The very small patch of nebulousity below the small star at lower left of the nebula is actually a small background galaxy. (group of three stars, the middle one).

Other versions

Previous/older images:

Apr 06, 2006 – Canon 350D (Orion USA 80/600 ED 1h15m)

Image data

Object info
Name M97 – The Owl Nebula
Type Planetary nebula
Constellation Ursa Major
Right ascension 11h 14m 48s
Declination +55° 01′ 00″
Distance 2.600 ly
Other designations NGC3587
Image info
Image date Mar. 16, 2012
Light frames 8x 4 min. RGB (each) unbinned, 10x 4 min. UHC-S unbinned (Luminance)
Total integration 2h 16m
Dark frames 10x
Flat frames 10x p. filter unbinned. Created with an A3 size Posterpoweruk flatfield panel
Bias frames 10x
Software used CCDOps, CCDSoft, ImagesPlus, PixInsight LE, Photoshop CS4
Processing CCDOPS was used for focussing. Image Acquisition was done using CCDSoft.
All separate frames were calibrated, aligned and stacked in ImagesPlus 2.8.
PixInsight LE was used for DBE, Photoshop CS4 was used for further processing – curves adjustment, levels adjustment, etc.
Noel Carboni’s toolset was used as well (Local Contrast Enhancement, Deep Space Noise Reduction)
(L)RGB combine was done in Photoshop.
Equipment info
Telescope Orion Optics SPX 10″ Newton
Corrector Televue 2″ Paracorr coma corrector (FL: 1.380mm f/5.43)
Mount Losmandy G-11 Gemini
Camera SBIG ST-8300M
Guide camera Atik 1HS Mono
Guide scope Celestron 60/700 Achromat
Autoguide software PHD Guiding
Filters Baader 2″ RGB + IDAS LPS-P2
Location Landgraaf, The Netherlands
Image comments

Quite hazy conditions this night.