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M97 - As you may not have seen it before :)


Tim
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Way back in March I started gathering some data on M97 with a Skywatcher MN190, and Starlight H9 mono camera.

Planetary nebulae are among my favourite objects, and there is usually a faint outer region to them that is not easily seen at first glance. (For instance the extra Ha around M57 in my little name icon thingy). And so it is with M97. Using the Baader O3 filter there was the faintest of traces of an outer shell on some of the subs. I tried to get as much as possible of it but it wasn't easy, moonlight killed it, but finally I managed to gather 13hrs 40 mins of data in O3, to add to the 8 hours of Ha. 20 Minute subs for Ha and 30 minutes for O3.

I have put off processing this one for months because of the challenges it presented, but am now fairly happy with the result.

I processed this in Pixinsight and PS, using the Atrous wavelet tool in PI to help define some detail within the centre of the nebula. I might go back and do M27 with the same technique.

On the Pixinsight website there is an example of a pro M97 image processed with PI. Worth checking, its gorgeous :o

Calar Alto Observatory M97

Thanks for looking.

Tim

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Edited by Tim
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That's just magnificent TJ. One of the best I've seen of the Owl Planetary Neb.

You don't do things by half mate, but the results always indicate the time and effort.

Is that faint ring, as with M57, and M27, not the bow shock as the expanding gas collides with the interstellar medium. Not certain about that of course.

Ron.:o

Edited by barkis
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I dont know what it is Ron, and it seems to vary in composition from neb to neb. M57 is mostly ha. M27 is a fair mix of both, heavier in O3 I'd say. M76 is mixed, heavier in O3.

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That's bizarre!!!

It looks so much like some weird eyeball lol.

At first glance I thought it was actually the reflection of the primary?

But if it varies from object to object then it can't be. (Just checked link ... i was way off the mark lol)

Cracking image :o

Edited by Starblazer
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Really impressive piece of work. I love those outer shells that you extremely patient imagers sometimes manage to capture on planetrary nebulae, and this is a great example. I think I particularly like the way that imaging this way adds a whole extra layer to an object that we can see visually.

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Yes it was strange Olly, the first time it came through in a massive stretch of the data I thought it was a reflection artifact. I checked with Steppenwolf Steve who was doing the same target at the same time, and he had traces of it. It was damned hard to capture though. The inner detail is courtesy of Pixinsight :o

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Nice image showing up lots of interesting structure

Is that faint ring, as with M57, and M27, not the bow shock as the expanding gas collides with the interstellar medium. Not certain about that of course.

These fainter outer rings are usually remnants of earlier mass-ejection events in the formation of the planetary nebula. They are fainter because they are (any combination of) a) further out, so more expanded, so more diffuse, :) further out, so less ionising radiation from the white dwarf to make them glow (this also explains the composition differences between difference PNe) c) intrinsically less massive ejections, so less material to glow.

Very nicely demonstrated in your image TJ :o

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That's very interesting.

Any idea why it would appear to be non circular in its appearance, and also there is a definite wedge shaped split in it, near to 12 o clock in my pic, which is similar to one in M27, any ideas what cause those???

Cheers

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Ah, see, now you're asking tricky questions :( Not my area expertise, but it is roughly to do with the asymmetries in the star before it ejected the gas (either due to non-radial pulsations in the atmosphere, or dynamics in the systems). A lot (most) planetary nebulae are distinctly non-circular, and these are thought to be formed in binary star systems where the companion significantly affects the angular momentum of the ejected material.

The notch in your image could be an indication of the equatorial plane of the star? (there is a matching feature at ~6 o'clock, though not so distinct). If there was a disc of material in system, say, maybe that inhibited the ejection of the material in that direction, giving the notch? Kind of guessing a bit now :(

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