Eskimo Nebula, Clown Nebula
|Right Ascension|| 07 : 29.2 (h:m)
|Declination|| +20 : 55 (deg:m)
|Distance|| 3 (kly)
|Visual brightness|| 9.1 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension|| 0.7 (arc min)
William Herschel discovered this planetary nebula on January 17, 1787 and cataloged it as H IV.45. John Herschel observed it from England in the 1820s and numbered it as h 450, and included it in the 1864 General Catalogue as GC 1532; this became NGC 2392 in J.L.E. Dreyer's New General Catalogue of 1888.
Because of its double-shell morphology, this nebula exhibits a particular appearance, so that it was named the Eskimo or the Clown or Clown Face Nebula.
The nebula has a visual brightness of 9.1 mag, while it is only 9.9 mag photographically. The central star, cataloged as HD 59088, is of visual magnitude 10.5 and spectral type O7f, and thus seen quite easily by visual observers. Its distance is not very well known, and estimated sometimes at some 3,000 light years.
The image above was obtained by
Erik Bryssinck of
Belgium, as one of his first CCD astrophotos, taken from about 7 km from
Antwrp. He used an inexpensive Connectix b&w webcam which he has
modified to a peltier cooled webcam.
The image at right was obtained by Glenn Hitchcock and Bob Cowart during
their stay at the Advanced Observing Program of the Kitt Peak National
Observatory's Visitor Center. They used the AOP's Meade 16-inch LX200 telescope
operating at f/6.3, and an SBIG ST7E CCD camera with color filter wheel.
Exposure time was L = 25 min, Red = 4 min, Green = 4 min, Blue = 8 min.
Credit: Glenn Hitchcock and Bob Cowart/Adam Block/AURA/NOAO/NSF
Hartmut Frommert [contact]