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M 97 - NGC 3587 - The Owl  Nebula 
Ursa Major
Penryn, California  
February 2010
M 250 @ f9.3 (ag, ST-4)
ST-2000XM LRGB 10 minute  subs

M 97 is one of the larger planetary nebula but rather featureless in small telescopes due to the low surface brightness.  Lord Rosse in 1848 saw a striking resemblance to an Owl's face.  It is believed the nebula is at about 1630 light years.

M97 is a multi-shell bi-polar planetary, recent studies indicate 3 and possibly 4 shells are present.

The small galaxy near the star at lower right is PGC 34279.