Owl Nebula, M97

2020-04-02/11 / Click on image to enlarge

"M108 was part of the same image."

The Owl Nebula, M97 or NGC3587, is a planetary nebula located in the constallation Ursa Major, approximately 2,600 light-years away from Earth. It is known for its distinctive shape, resembling a pair of owl-like eyes, that can be seen in larger telescopes. Planetary nebulae are relatively short-lived phenomenons, lasting only a few tens of thousands of years, compared to a typical stellar lifetime of several billion years. The Owl Nebula was created by the ejected and expanding gas of dying star about 8,000 years ago. As the outer layers were gradually blown off over thousands of years, the leftover stellar remnant will burn for another billion years before consuming all its remaining fuel. It will then become a tiny, hot and very dense white dwarf that will slowly cool over billions of years. The Owl Nebula is a good example of what will be the fate of our Sun in roughly 5 Billion years.

Technical Details

LocationZollikerberg, Switzerland
CameraNikon DSLR D810A
TelescopeTS ONTC 12" f/4 Carbon Newton
OpticsTS 2,5" Wynne Coma Corrector
Focal Length1140mm
MountiOptron CEM60 Center-Balanced Equatorial Mount
AutoguidingPHD2 (Dithering)
Planetarium SoftwareStellarium
Image Session ControlAPT - Astro Photography Tool v3.81, ASCOM Platform 6
Lights33/36 x 120s (total 2h18'), ISO-1600, additional Biases, Flats, no Darks
Stacking SoftwarePixinsight 1.8, Drizzle 2x
Image ProcessingPixinsight 1.8