NCG 2392 ESKIMO NEBULA – A CLASSIC REVISITED.
Photo By: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The Eskimo Nebula or NGC 2392 is one of the all time planetary nebula classics, and this photo, one of the all time Hubble Space Telescope classics. Discovered by Frederick William Herschel on January 17, 1787 this nebula resembles an Eskimos face surrounded by a winter parka hood when viewed through a telescope. What you are actually seeing is a bipolar, double-shell planetary nebula. Estimates say that approximately 10,000 years ago (as we see it) a star (HD59088), much like our own Sun began to die and its outer layers expelled into the surrounding universe by the violent solar winds of the dying star. Though the long bright orange filaments laced throughout the outer shell are not well understood; the outer shell of material ejected into space was done so during the stars red giant phase and that material is now being ionized by the massive dose of ultraviolet radiation released from the now exposed inner layers of the 10th magnitude white dwarf star itself.
NAME: NGC 2392, Caldwell 39, Eskimo Nebula, Clown Face Nebula. Central star designation: HD59088.
WHAT IS IT?: Bipolar Double-Shell Planetary Nebula.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Approximately 0.5 of a light year in diameter.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: Approximately 3000 light years distant though estimates range anywhere from 2500 to 4000 light years.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: 10 or +10.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Gemini
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 07h 29m 10.76s / DEC +20° 54′ 42.48”.
NASA Hubblesite page for this photo: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/nebula/pr2000007a/
NASA page for this photo: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_762.html
ESA Hubble Space Telescope page for this photo: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic9910a/
Hubblesite News page for this photo: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2000/07/image/a/
SIMBAD Eskimo Nebula Data: http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=Eskimo+Nebula