NGC 2736. The Pencil Nebula


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NGC 2736, also known as the Pencil Nebula or Herschel’s Ray, was discovered by John Herschel in 1835. It is part of the Vela Supernova Remnant (see a wide field image here) and located about 4.5 degrees east of its central bubble. Like most supernova remnants, it is better imaged in narrowband, with Halpha and OIII filters. As usual with this kind of images in this website, the colors have been coded in such a way as to provide “natural” colors, trying to reproduce the nebula’s spectrum. The supernova that gave birth to this nebula, exploded about 12,000 years ago and its shockwave expands at a speed of about 300,000 miles per hour (500,000 km/h).

Additional Information


Name(s): NGC 2736; Pencil Nebula; Herschel’s Ray

Type: Supernova Remnant

RA:  09h 00m 17s

Dec: -45ΒΊ 56’ 53”

Constellation: Vela

Size (arcmin): 30×7

Magnitude: +12 (uncertain)

Distance: 800 ly


Date: 2016-01-29 to 2016-02-19

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 37×35

Telescope: Planewave CDK 20” f/6.8

Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 14.5 hours (Ha 6h; OIII 7h; RGB 1.5h)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2016

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