|NGC 2371: Planetary Nebula (Gemini) RA: 07h 25.6m / DEC: +29° 29'.5|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
The winter constellation Gemini is home to several bright planetary nebulae. The most famous is NGC 2392, the Eskimo Nebula. NGC 2371 may not be as well-known, but this 12th magnitude planetary is well worth the trouble to find. It's located about 3 degrees southwest of 1.6 magnitude Pollux. 3.8 magnitude Iota (60) Geminorum shines 1.7 degrees due south. My sketch captures a 190X view in the Starfinder Newtonian. This was achieved with a 18-mm Meade SWA eyepiece mated to TeleVue's 3X Barlow lens. NGC 2371 is neatly centered. Its 40"x60" form is aligned roughly east-northeast to west-southwest. The planetary presents as having east and west lobes. A 14th magnitude GSC star shines in the foreground of the nebula's western lobe. An 11th magnitude star, the brightest in my sketch, stands just inside the west-northwest field boundary. Six additional stars complete the view. NGC 2372 is a duplicate of this object and not included in my Herschel 400 section.
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Revised: January 10, 2003 [WDF]