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NGC 3242 First Time!


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Last week, I saw this beautiful planetary nebula at Fernbank Observatory in Decatur, GA (US) through the big 36 inch Schmidt Cassegrain and was floored! Known as the "Ghost of Jupiter" and the less creative moniker "Hydra nebula", NGC 3242 was unknown to me. I always considered M57 my premier planetary nebula obsession, but this one is a new favorite (and noticeably brighter). Last evening, I found it on my own using my 6" reflector, nearly due south by mid-evening at this time of year. I used Mu Hydrae as my guide star (just a bit southwest). If you haven't seen it before, now is the prime time to catch it; it's a beautiful green halo of light!




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1 hour ago, Dave In Vermont said:

Thanks for the report, Reggie! I'm dropping that straight onto my To Do list! I've thought to look for this before, but something always has gotten in the way. But not this time!

Enjoy -


I can't believe I hadn't run across this little jewel before. It looks great even in my 6" scope. It's waiting for you, man!

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