A Haunting in Hydra

While I was testing the scopes pointing accuracy the other night,I managed to get a shot of a beautiful planetary nebula located in Hydra.NGC 3242  or more commonly known as “The Ghost of Jupiter”is a fairly faint +8.6 mag  planetary neb residing some 1,400 Ly’s distant.Having never seen this neb before,I was quite surprised as to how bright it really was.While still a bit worried about the scopes pointing abilities I was reasured when this neb came into view.It appeared as a faint pale glow which was a obvious neb.In the image below,not much in the form of detail can be seen except for the nebs faint blue-green halo.Photoshop Elements was used for post processing.

It appears that tonights sky is going to pretty good and I am hoping to give this neb another shot.However,the brightness of the moon may play a roll as to whether or not I will try.Regardless,I am still going to bring the scope out and perhaps use the LPI for some images of Saturn and the moon.I am still having issues when trying to image planets so,this will be another educational night!.

Image credit: Andrew


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