Planetary Nebula in Auriga

Uploaded 12/20/2001

One of the largest planetary nebula in Auriga is IC2120, known also as Minkowski 2-3. This 14th magnitude object subtends 30 arcseconds in the field, and is rather featureless. A very bright 16.2 magnitude central star is seen here, but there is some conjecture as to whether this is a chance alignment. The color is not correct for a true central star, which should be more blue.

Little else could be found on this object, and there is some doubt that it is even a planetary nebula at all. Some astronomers are suggesting it is rather a round emission nebula masquerading as a planetary. The Nebula Databank used in Guide 7 says "This object may not exist". What do you think?

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform:  Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST7E w/Enhanced Cooling
Exposure:  LRGB = 40:10:10:20 (RGB Binned 2x2)
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing FMHW = 2.2 arcsec, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature:  -2 C
CCD Temperature:  -35 C
Processing:  Maxim DL, Photoshop, AIP4WIN, PW Pro.




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