M-97 (NGC-3587) Commonly called "The Owl Nebula", M-97 is a large bright planetary nebula located in the constellation of Ursa Major, just 2.5 degrees SE of the star Beta Ursae Majoris (Merak). It lies at a distance of 2000 light years from Earth and is 2.5 light years in diameter. It gets its common name from two darker patches within it that resemble the eyes of an Owl. M-97 was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781 and Charles Messier several weeks later. Messier included it in his catalog as number 97.
This image, acquired on April 8, 2019, is a 1 hour integration of 6 minute exposures through the Celestron C-11 at f/2, using the HyperStar III imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C color CCD camera, operating at -10 degrees below ambient temperature and binned 1 X 1. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL5 Pro. Post processed using PhotoShop CS2, Gradient XTerminator, StarShrink, Carboni's Astro Tools and NoiseWare.