Archive for June 2011

M97 “The Owl Nebula” Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major

June 6, 2011

I have observed M97 many times from my moderately light polluted back yard, located in the foothills of North Carolina. However, I’ve never been able to see both eyes (voids within the nebula) with my 10-inch f/4.5 reflector. 

Most of the time, even with excellent sky conditions, the nebula appears mostly round and featureless.  It can be easily seen at low power, but again, with little or no detail.

Only on one occasion, I have noted a single eye, or void, but again, never both, using 160x and averted vision.  When using a 24mm eyepiece with a 60° apparent field, at 48x, both M97 and M108 are nicely framed in the 1.3° FOV.    Roger Ivester

M97 "The Owl Nebula"