NGC 4361 Planetary Nebula

This is a great little planetary nebula that lies off the beaten path in Corvus. NGC 4361 is also known as PK 294+43.1, and is listed as a 10.3 magnitude patch 45" in diameter, although it appears in the eyepiece to be at least twice this size.

In a 6" is is obvious at 50X, taking on the appearance of a telescopic comet with no tail. It sports a 13th magnitude central star, and appears relatively round. In this scope is has  a strongly mottled appearance, sometimes taking on the look of a barely resolved globular cluster. Larger scopes will show more detail. Look for the irregular shape of the bright inner disk at high power.


The view in a 6" at 50x. N is down, E is right. The nebula seems about twice as large as drawn.


The above image was generated from the Palomar Sky Survey using SkyView and shows a 6' x 6' area.


 
Millennium Star Atlas Vol II Chart 845
Sky Atlas 2000 Chart 21
Uranometria 2000 Vol II Chart 328