This planetary nebula was one of the first â€œnebulaeâ€ seen and recorded by William Herschel during the summer of 1782.
Since my skies are loaded with sky glow, it is not possible to see the ansae (handles) at the ends of the long axis of this beautiful bluish planetary nebula. With the ansae visible this planetary nebula very much resembles a blue version of the planet Saturn with its rings edge on. At high magnification the white dwarf central star is easily detectable with 18â€ of aperture although the view is much better under dark transparent skies.
NGC 7009 Saturn Nebula (planetary)
Date and Time: 8-25-2009, 4:15 4:50 UT
Scope: 18â€ f/5 Dobsonian. 24 mm eyepiece 95x
8â€x12â€ white sketching paper, 2H, HB, graphite pencils, light brown color pencil,
blending stump, scanned and inverted
Seeing: Pickering 7/10
Transparency: Average 3/5
Faintest stars visible overhead 4.3
Temperature: 20Â°C (68Â°F)
Nebula magnitude: 8.0, Central star 11.5
Distance: 2000-4000 ly
Location Constellation: Aquarius
Position: R.A. 21 hrs 4 min
Dec. -11Â° 22'