NGC 2371-72 Planetary Nebula in Gemini – March 2018 Observer’s Challenge Report #109

Observer’s Challenge Report #109:  

MARCH 2018 OBSERVERS CHALLENGE – NGC-2371-72

Pencil sketch using a 10-inch reflector with inverted colors.  

Rogers NGC-2371 Inverted

NGC 2371-2372, Planetary in Gemini, nebula magnitude 11.3; central star 14.8.

This planetary is easy to discern with 10-inch reflector from my moderately light polluted backyard. At low power (57x) the planetary appears as a faint and small elongated nebulous patch.

When increasing the magnification to 207x, and with a UHC narrowband nebula filter, two distinctive lobes become visible, connected by a faint haze. The nebula is oriented NE-SW, with the SW lobe being brighter and having greater concentration. The bright spot becomes visible using averted vision, located on the NW side of the westernmost lobe.

When first observing this planetary almost twenty five years ago, I mistakenly thought this bright spot to be the 14.5 magnitude central star. It was, however, during a later observing session in 1998 that I realized the bright spot was not centrally located and far too bright to be the extremely faint central star. Another observation the following year confirmed this.

NGC 2371-72 has a similar appearance, but not nearly as bright as M76 (NGC 650-1) planetary nebula in Perseus.

Roger Ivester

 

NGC 2371-72
By Dr. James R. Dire

My image of NGC 2371/2 was taken with an 8-inch f/8 Ritchey–Chrétien Cassegrain with a Televue 0.8x focal reducer/field flattener yielding f/6.4. It was captured with an SBIG ST-2000XCM CCD camera and the exposure was 2.5 hours.

James NGC-2371

The planetary nebula has what appears to be a regular elliptical shell, divided into two main segments by a dark major-axis lane. The bright lobes are thought to be from bipolar flow from the central star. The cyan colored emissions come from O-III atoms. My image picked up two outer blue arc, most likely from a previous layer of gas ejected from the star in a similar bipolar manner.   JD 

 

The following photo by Mario Motta from Massachusetts using a 32-inch reflector. 

NGC2371

 

Inverted pencil sketch by Mike McCabe from Massachusetts.

100_7635G

 

Inverted pencil sketch by Jaakko Saloranta from Finland using an 8-inch reflector.

NGC2371

 

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