Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The butterfly nebula in the constellation of the unicorn

I pushed the processing of this little planetary nebula (NGC 2346) until I could just see the wing shapes around it, that give it the name of the butterfly nebula. It was not obvious to see visually, although there was definately a bluish haze around the central star. This star is a spectroscopic binary, and is variable - possibly due to dust orbiting around the pair every 16 days. The dust could also explain the infra-red emission. I thought I'd give you a wide field shot; 20' x 30' is the raw field from the 20" scope and I took 8 x 15 second pictures at ISO 1600 on the Canon EOS 350D.

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