Sky Object of the Month – March 2016

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Sky Object of the Month – March 2016
(Courtesy LVAS Observer’s Challenge*)
NGC 2392 “Eskimo Nebula” – Planetary Nebula in Gemini
(Magnitude – 9.2, Dimensions – 47’ X 43’)

NGC 2392, the Eskimo Nebula is a bright planetary nebula located in Gemini halfway between the stars Kappa () and Lambda () Geminorum and near the 4th magnitude star Wasat (Delta [] Geminorum). It pairs with an 8th magnitude star located 100 arc-seconds away. The nick-name comes from the nebula’s appearance, when viewed with medium to large-aperture scopes, to a person’s face surrounded by a fur-lined parka.
The Eskimo Nebula was discovered by William Herschel in 1787. Estimates of its distance vary – one source suggests a distance of 2900 light years, which corresponds to a true diameter of .68 light years. If a NASA figure of 5000 light years is correct, the Eskimo Nebula is over one light year across.

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constellation-guide.com (IAU and Sky&Telescope magazine)

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Image by Mario Motta, M.D.

 

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