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jaxdilation | all galleries >> Galleries >> Nebulae > Messier 97 The Owl Nebula in Ursa Major
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Messier 97 The Owl Nebula in Ursa Major

The Owl Nebula Messier 97 (M97, NGC 3587) is one of the fainter objects in Messier's catalog.
M97 was discovered by Pierre Méchain on February 16, 1781. The name "Owl Nebula" goes back to Lord Rosse, who first used it in 1848; see his drawing.

As often for planetary nebulae, the Owl is significantly brighter visually (Machholz: 9.7 mag, Hynes: 9.9 mag) than photographically (about 12.0 mag), as most light is emitted in one green spectral line.

Its distance is uncertain; the Sky Catalog 2000 has 1,300 light years.

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Pete Hemington03-Aug-2010 18:55
Very nice shot and of great interest.
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