On the best transparent nights, the disk appears annular and, on occasion, it displays two darker areas that are reminiscent of the "eyes" of the Owl Nebula
, M97, in Ursa Major.
Optically bright astronomical objects, those visible to the eye and optical telescopes, often are nicknamed for their earthly likenesses, such as the Whirlpool Galaxy and Owl Nebula
. Invisible W50 comes by its less catchy name by being the 50th radio source listed in the Westerhout Catalog, assembled in 1958 by Dutch astronomer, Gart Westerhout.
Only the classical names from antiquity such as 'The Owl Nebula
' should be preserved.
The Owl nebula
, as it is popularly known, appears larger than I had expected.
Ursa Major also contains M97 (Owl Nebula
), M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy) and M108 and M109, two more spiral galaxies.
I found M 108 by accident while looking for our next target,M97 the Owl nebula
At the right time, though, I can see the Owl Nebula
. I think it has to do with the configuration of the streetlights.
My "best in show" for planetary nebulae is Messier 97, the Owl Nebula
. Through 15x45 image-stabilized binoculars, the Owl is fairly easy to see as a little round patch of mist.
Another example of this can be seen in Ursa Major,known as the Owl Nebula
, between the stars (Merakand B.
The Owl Nebula
, M97, is another legendary object I struggled with visually as a beginner.
The Southern Owl gets its nickname from its close photographic resemblance to the Owl Nebula
(M97) in Ursa Major.
M97, the 10th-magnitude Owl Nebula
, is a planetary nebula only 2.4[degrees] southeast of the Pointer star Merak.