NGC 3242

Click on image for larger version.

This planetary nebula is often called the "Ghost of Jupiter" since it is fairly large and round- though MUCH dimmer than its namesake. Even a small telescope under bright skies can be used to view this nebula. Its color is an unmistakable blue/green. Views through a larger telescope reveal the inner torus and central star (white dwarf). Located in the constellation of Hydra, NGC 3242 is easily found just beneath (south of) Mu Hydrae. It is estimated to be 1,400 light years away.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel< p>
L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance= 40 minutes binned 1x1 (synthetic) Red = 40 minutes binned 1x1
Green = 40 minutes binned 1x1
Blue = 40 minutes binned 1x1

  • Four iterations of CCDSharp deconvolution algorithm were applied to this image.
  • DDP (non-linear) stretching was also use to display both the dim and bright portions of the nebula.
  • Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF


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    Updated: 02/12/2004