|NGC 6302 "Bug Nebula": Planetary Nebula (Scorpius) RA: 17h 13.7m / DEC: -37° 06'.2|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
Of all the beasts in the celestial zoo, planetary nebulae are perhaps the most exotic. Their varied forms call to mind all manner of creature, including insects. NGC 6302 is popularly known as the Bug nebula. And the view in my 10-inch Meade Starfinder, presented in the sketch at left, offers hints as to why. NGC 6302 is centered in the drawing, which offers a 190X view. Its 110"x40" form is aligned roughly east to west. The 21st magnitude central star is obviously not visible but a distinct brightening at the core is. The brighter western portion of the nebula shows hints of a hook-like structure at the end. The eastern portion, though not as bright, also offers the faintest suggestion of a curved end. I suppose the imaginative observer might see a similarity to a bug. In any event, 27 stars frame this cosmic crawler, which you'll find 4 degrees west of 1.6 magnitude Lambda (35) Scorpii.
Layout, design & revisions © W. D. Ferris
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Revised: July 2, 2003 [WDF]