The Clownface Nebula, NGC 2392, is a planetary nebula residing 3,000 light years away in the constellation Gemini. Like other planetary nebula, it
represents a dying star that has shed its outer layers, similar to the Ring Nebula, Dumbbell Nebula, and Helix Nebula. In 1787, astronomer William
Herschel discovered the nebula, describing it as, "A star 9th magnitude with a pretty bright middle, nebulosity equally dispersed all around. A very
remarkable phenomenon.". The colorful inner and outer layers has led some astronomers to call this the Clown Face Nebula, with the bright central
star as its nose. Other astronomers see man's head surrounded by a parka hood, and thus call this the Eskimo Nebula. In 2000, the Hubble Space
Telescope imaged the this nebula, discovering gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. This is a young planetary nebula, created by gas
released only a thousand years ago by a dying star. The inner filaments are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. On Hubble
images, the outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments.
This image combined 30 minutes each of red, and blue exposures, all unbinned. An ST10XME camera was used through a Meade 12" LX200R
and an AP reducer at the Hidden Lake Observatory.
Music: Send in the Clowns