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

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