Kochab Observatory
Nebulae Images
Discovered 1610 by Nicholas-Claude Fabri
de Peiresc. Located at a distance of about
1,600 (or perhaps 1,500) light years, the
Orion Nebula is the brightest diffuse nebula
in the sky, visible to the naked eye, and
rewarding in telescopes of every size, from
the smallest glasses to the greatest
Earth-bound observatories and the Hubble
Space Telescope.
M42 Orion Nebula
1,600 LY
In Orion
3.3 DSI
The remarkable Horsehead is a dark
globule of dust and non-luminous gas,
obscuring the light coming from behind,
especially the moderately bright nebula
IC 434. It is the most remarkable
feature of an interesting region of
diffuse nebulae, which belongs to a
huge cloud of gas and dust situated
1,600 light years away in the direction
of constellation Orion
Horsehead Nebula
IC 434
1,600 LY Distance
In Orion DSI f3.3
M57 was the second planetary nebula
to be discovered (in January 1779), 15
years after the first one, M27. Antoine
Darquier de Pellepoix (Darquier), who
discovered the Ring Nebula only a few
days before Charles Messier found and
cataloged it, described it as "a dull
nebula, but perfectly outlined; as large
as Jupiter and looks like a fading
Ring Nebula
2,300 LY Distance
In Lyra DSI f3.3
Discovered 1731 by British amateur astronomer
John Bevis.
The Crab Nebula is the most famous and
conspicuous known supernova remnant, the
expanding cloud of gas created in the explosion of
a star as supernova which was observed in the
year 1054 AD.
The supernova was noted on July 4, 1054 A.D. by
Chinese astronomers as a new or "guest star,"
and was about four times brighter than Venus, or
about mag -6. According to the records, it was
visible in daylight for 23 days, and 653 days to the
naked eye in the night sky.

Crab Nebula
6,500 LY Distance
In Taurus DSI f3.3
The Owl Nebula M97 is one of the
fainter objects in Messier's catalog,
discovered by Pierre Méchain on
February 16, 1781.
Owl Nebula
Mag 9.9
12,000 LY Distance
In Ursa Major
The Saturn Nebula was the first discoveries of
William Herschel on September 7, 1782
The distance of the Saturn Nebula is not known
very acurately. Hynes gives 2,400 light-years
(adopted here), the Sky Catalogue 2000.0
about 2,900, and Burnham adopts O'Dell's
(1963) estimate of 3,900 ly.
Saturn Nebula
NGC 7009
Mag 8.0
Constellation Aquarius
William Herschel discovered this planetary nebula
on January 17, 1787
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.
Eskimo Nebula
NGC 2392
Mag 9.9
Constellation Gemini
William Herschel discovered this planetary
nebula on February 7, 1785
The nebula has a visual brightness of 7.7 mag,
while it is only 8.6 mag photographically. The
central star, cataloged as HD 90255 and is of
visual magnitude 12.1. Its distance is not
wellknown, but estimated at some 2,500 light
years; another estimate is about 1,400 light
Ghost of Jupiter
NGC 3242
Mag 9
Constellation Draco
Discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.
The Dumbbell Nebula M27 was the first
planetary nebula ever discovered. On July 12,
As for most planetary nebulae, the distance of
M27 (and thus true dimension and intrinsic
luminosity) is not very well known. Hynes gives
about 800, Kenneth Glyn Jones 975,
Mallas/Kreimer 1250 light years
M27 Dumbbell Nebula
Mag 7.4
Constellation Vulpecula