Herschel 400 Objects

NGC 3242 "Ghost of Jupiter": Planetary Nebula (Hydra) RA: 10h 24.8m / DEC: -18° 38'.5
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

Your jumping off point for a hop to NGC 3242 is Mu Hydrae, a 3.8 magnitude star in the central region of this expansive, rambling constellation. From Mu, slew 1.8 degrees to the south-southwest and you will land atop NGC 3242. The sketch at left is based on the view in my 10-inch Starfinder Newtonian at 82X. The planetary nebula appears 90" in diameter and evenly illuminated. Its photographic magnitude of 8.6 suggests a visual magnitude in the 8.0 range. A keystone asterism of four stars stands to the south. The brightest member of this grouping is an 11th magnitude GSC star. Nine additional field stars complete the drawing.

NGC 3226 & NGC 3227 NGC 3245


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Revised: January 20, 2003 [WDF]