Deep Sky Object in Spring
Jupiter Nebula (NGC3242 in Hydra)

Date & Time: Mar 19 2005, from 23:38 to 23:58 JST(+0900)
Composed 4shots with 4 minutes & 4shots with 1 minute exposed
Optical: VIXEN 20cm(3.9") VISAC (f=1800mm, F9.0)
Auto-guided with TAKAHASHI JP Equatorial & Meade Pictor 201XT
Digital Camera: Nikon D70 (Remodeled)
Location: Ooizumi, Hokuto city, Yamanashi pref.

Camera Settings: Recording Format...12bit CCD-RAW, converted to 8bit TIFF(3008×2000)
CCD Sensitivity...ISO1600

NGC3242 / Planetary Nebula, type IIIb+IV
R.A.10h 24m 48.0s (2000.0)
Dec.-18° 38' 00" (2000.0)
Apparent Size40×35"
Real Size0.37×0.32 light yrs.
Distance1890 light yrs.
NGC3242 is a small but bright planetary nebula just locates mu Hydrae at the middle of constellation then move south about 2 degrees. Elliptical gaseous region and a bit dark round nebula in the exterior surround a dark central star. This planetary nebula is often called "The Jupiter Nebula" because of its slight resemblance.
The nebula has a visual magnitude of 9 but a high surface contrast, clearly visible even in small telescopes. Trying to appreciate the inner ellipse could prove difficult, large telescopes should show the object as resembling a bluish eye with the central dwarf star the pupil. A dead star about 1900 light years away formed this nebula.



Copyright(c) 2005 by Naoyuki Kurita, All rights reserved.
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