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Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Contains:  NGC 246  ·  NGC 255
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NGC 246 - The Skull Nebula, 


            Terry Robison
NGC 246 - The Skull Nebula
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NGC 246 - The Skull Nebula

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: RC Optical Systems RCOS 10" Ritchey-Chrétien

Imaging cameras: SBIG STL-11000M

Mounts: AP900GTO Astro Physics

Guiding telescopes or lenses: RC Optical Systems RCOS 10" Ritchey-Chrétien

Guiding cameras: SBIG STL-11000M

Filters: Baader OIII Narrowband 8,5nm CCD-Filter 2" OIII 8,5nm 2''  ·  Baader Planetarium H-a  ·  Astrondon Astrodon

Accessory: SBIG Remote Guide Head

Dates:Nov. 10, 2017

Frames: 111x900"

Integration: 27.8 hours

Avg. Moon age: 21.75 days

Avg. Moon phase: 54.18%

Basic astrometry details job: 1805339

RA center: 0h 47' 1"

DEC center: -11° 50' 27"

Pixel scale: 0.803 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 30.104 degrees

Field radius: 0.525 degrees

Resolution: 3918x2612

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: Non-commercial independent facility


The Skull Nebula is located in the constellation Cetus. It is a planetary nebula discovered by William Herschel in 1785. From our vantage point, it has an angular resolution of 3.7 arcmin. The estimated diameter is about 2.3 light years, and is at a distance of 1,600 light years from our planet. The listed magnitude of the nebula is around 11th magnitude, so is has a fairly low surface brightness. Quite often, visual observers can find the foreground stars overpowering. The central star is fairly bright at 11.8 magnitude. The eastern limb of the nebula is brighter suggesting that it is interacting with the interstellar medium. I love how some objects in the cosmos have bow waves reflecting the dynamics of the interstellar medium.

I tried to capture the translucent shell of this planetary nebula. It reminds me of a crystal sphere containing something wonderful at its centre. The teal and red colours within add a nice depth to the image. The galaxy in the top left is NGC 255, a barred spiral galaxy, a distance of 59.16 million light years away, give or take 5 million for an estimate.

The image was captured between Sept-November 2017. I used 6 filters to create the image. Red, Green, Blue, Luminance, Ha, and OIII.

Exposure Details:
62 X 900 Bin 1X1 Lum
25 X 450 Bin 2X2 Red
22 X 450 Bin 2X2 Green
20 X 450 Bin 2X2 Blue
5 X 900 Bin 1X1 Ha
10 X 900 Bin 1x1 OIII



Terry Robison
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


NGC 246 - The Skull Nebula, 


            Terry Robison