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Eskimo Nebula

5 Mar 2019, 16:10 UTC
Eskimo Nebula
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Many celestial objects are fascinating not only for their usefulness in helping explain the workings of the cosmos, but also because they are visually dazzling. The Eskimo Nebula, in the constellation Gemini, is a perfect example. Also known as the Clown or Clown Face Nebula, the Eskimo is a planetary nebula approximately 5,000 light years away. It is the remnant of a dying star similar in mass to our Sun, and in fact, serves as an excellent illustration of the Sun’s ultimate fate in about five billion years.
In 1864, John Herschel published “The General Catalogue of Nebulae” (GC), which listed 5,097 non-stellar celestial objects – 4,630 of which were discovered by either John or his father William, who is best remembered for discovering Uranus in 1781. Included in the catalog was GC 1532 ─ an object first observed by William on January 17, 1787. In 1888, Danish astronomer J.L.E. Dreyer expanded the catalog and created “The New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars” (NGC), which is still used by astronomers today. The NGC is comprised of 7,840 objects, including NGC 2392 – better known as the Eskimo Nebula.
The Eskimo’s apparent magnitude – measurement astronomers use to ...

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