The Owl Nebula in "New Light"
Messier Catalogue: M 97
Constellation: Ursa Maior - The Bear


This is an another famous planetary nebula along my tour through the winter sky in 2022. I captured this nebula as part of some kind of "group image" together with M 108 earlier, but my equipment changed quite a lot by now. Today I use my optimized 8" RC telescope, which performs excellently across the entire field of my APS-C camera. In addition, it is the second frame on which I use my new nebula filter to emphasize the ionized radiation emitted from the atmosphere of a dying star.

The owl nebula is specifically interesting because of the double shell and the doube "hole", which is highly indicative of the complex geometry of planetary nebulae, often ending up in peculiar bipolar shapes, like butterflies, hourglasses, etc.. The almost perfect roundness of the ring nebula may be considered an exception rather than the rule...

M 97 was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781 and added by his observing colleague Charles Messier to the famous catalogue.


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