Saturday, 19 May 2018

NGC3242 PN "Ghost of Jupiter"

Burnham writes “This is a fine PN, easily located 1.8”deg south of star Mu Hydrae. In the small telescope it shows as a pale bluish disc about 40” x 35”, appearing like a “Ghost of Jupiter”. The total magnitude is about 9; the central star is 11.4 visually. 
      Several logs of this  PN  were merged in a coloured sketch on black paper. “Ghost” is one of the most complex PNe I've attempted. It has at least four distinct parts:
     Outer Halo. Almost circular but  faint, maybe 20% the brightness of the central Ellipse. The Ellipse. This is a bright shape three times longer than its width – and fits neatly in the Halo. Inside this is the Iris: an almost circular ring, at least twice as bright as the Ellipse. A star-like 'thing' lies at the E end of the Iris. The central star was not seen but another 'thing' might lie at the W end. More work needed!