|PK 80-6.1 "Egg Nebula": Protoplanetary Nebula (Cygnus) RA: 21h 02.3m / DEC: +36° 41'.7|
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession
The Egg nebula was first suggested to me as a target by David Sanders. David remarked on this object late on the second night of the 2005 Lowell Star Party. The following night, I made a point of tracking down PK 80-6.1. It's an interesting nebula. First brought to the public's attention as the subject of a 1996 image by the Hubble Space Telescope, this object was classified as a galaxy by Zwicky but is now believed to be a bi-polar protoplanetary nebula. In the 18-inch Obsession at 520X, the Egg nebula appears elongated north-northeast to south-southwest in two sections. The northern nebulous section appears both larger and brighter to the eye. It's 12" by 10" in size. The southern section may be smaller but it is somewhat more interesting. The nebulous patch is just 10" wide at the base and tapers to a point about 10" to the south. It looks like a flame licking at the night sky. A pair of faint stars, separated by 21", is seen west of this southern portion of the Egg Nebula. Among the 23 stars scattered throughout the field, the brightest is the 12th magnitude ember near the northern field boundary. It's just 2'.5 from the Egg.
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Revised: November 7, 2005 [WDF]