(IAAC) Object: NGC3242 (Ghost of Jupiter) INST: 16" f/4.59 NEWT

Observer:  Todd Gross
Your skill:  Intermediate 
Date and UT of observation: 12/22/97 08:10GMT
Location & latitude: 22 miles west of Boston, Ma. 42.3N
Site classification: Suburban
Limiting magnitude (visual): 4.8 (estimated) 4.6 (est) in vicinity of object
Seeing (1 to 10 - worst-best):  4
Moon up (phase?): Yes, 40%
Weather: Clear
Instrument: 16" Newtonian-dob w. 96/99% coatings f/4.59   f.l. 1865
Magnifications: 44x,98x,170x(binoviewer),359x
Filters used: none, UHC briefly
Constellation: Hydra
Object data: Planetary Nebula
Size(s): About 45 arc secs.
Position: RA 10:25  DEC  -18:37
Magnitudes: 9
Personal "rating" (at this aperture, and sky condition):  B
The "Ghost of Jupiter" certainly comes to life in this aperture, and
with it's high relative sfc. brightness, even under moonlit, suburban
The first thing I noticed at low power was the very striking green
color, typical of planetaries. However the color was as strong as I
remember in any other planetary nebula. The binoviewer robs a bit of
the edge to the blue-green color, as did the high powered 5.2 Pentax
XL. However it was at it's peak, single eyepiece at about 100x.
No central star was able to be discerned. The UHC filter did not help
a lot.  The round ball, about the size of Jupiter, at low power
becomes more interesting as you turn up the magnification. I was able
to see that this round fuzzball had mottling on the interior that at
times made it appear as if there was a brighter C shape within the
nebula. Also, the outermost part of the shell was dimmer on either
side, which I assume is the reason for it's double-shell description.
I was very pleased with this compared to smaller aperture, which did
not turn up the interior structure nor the striking color.
- Todd
Boston Meteorologist Todd Gross