Messier 97 - NGC 3587

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Owl Nebula
h 838, GC 2343, PK148+57.1

Type  Planetary Nebula
Magnitude  9.9
Size  3.4' x 3.3' @ 37°
Right Ascension  11h 14' 47.8"  (2000)
Declination  55° 1' 8" N
Constellation  Ursa Major
Description  !!, PN, vB, vL, R, vvg, vsbM, 150" d
Classification  3a
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Dec 29, 2019    Kaʻohe, Mauna Kea, HI (map)
46cm f/4.5 Newtonian, Deep Violet @ 175x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Large, bright, a well defined circular object about 3' across, some mottling visible within the disk, no central star visible

Andrew Cooper
May 12, 2018    Kaʻohe, Mauna Kea, HI (map)
20cm f/6 Newtonian, Cave Astrola @ 102x
Seeing: 8 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Bright, round, no central star, no color or structure noted

Andrew Cooper
Apr 19, 2012    Hale Pohaku, HI (map)
46cm f/4.5 Newtonian, Deep Violet @ 175x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Bright, round, about 5' across, some structure just beginning to appear with an OIII filter, no central star noted, no color noted

Andrew Cooper
Mar 2, 2011    Hale Pohaku, HI (map)
46cm f/4.5 Newtonian, Deep Violet @ 175x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 6 Moon: 0%

Bright, a round disk 3' across, averted vision reveals some structure in the disk, at least one dark area visible, pale blue, no stars noted within the disk

Andrew Cooper
Jun 12, 1999    Pinal Peak, AZ (map)
20cm f/10 SCT

A faint patch with no discernable detail

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)

Large pale plan. neb.; very remarkable object. h., 2'40", which at distance of 61 Cygni only, would equal 7 times orbit of Neptune. He saw light nearly equable, though with softened edge, and faintly bicentral. E. of Rosse, on the contrary, two large perforations (whence it has been called the 'Owl Neb.'), and an indistinct spiral structure. Before 1850 there was a star in each opening; since, one only. Huggins, gas spectrum; 2° sf β. L.P. shows an outer ring. Barnard three faint stars, the central one variable. Mt. Wilson 5 stars. 100 small neb in field.
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

John Herschel
Feb 10, 1831    

A large uniform nebulous disc, diameter 19.0s of time in AR [RA]. Quite round, very bright; not sharply defined, but yet very suddenly fading away to darkness. A most extraordinary object.

Charles Messier
Mar 24, 1781    

Nebula in the Great Bear, near Beta: It is difficult to see, reports M. Méchain, especially when one illuminates the micrometer wires: its light is faint, without a star. M. Méchain saw it the first time on Feb 16, 1781, & the position is that given by him. Near this nebula he has seen another one, which has not yet been determined [M108], and also a third which is near Gamma of the Great Bear [M109]
― Connaissance des Temps, 1781
Other Data Sources for Messier 97
Nearby objects for Messier 97
4 objects found within 60'
HCG 50 Messier 108
PGC 34213

Drawings, descriptions, and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

A complete list of credits and sources can be found on the about page

Messier 97