NGC 246

NGC 246

NGC 246
An infrared Spitzer Space Telescope image of NGC 246.
Credit: NASA/JPL.
Observation data
(Epoch J2000)
Right ascension 00h 47m 03.338s[1]
Declination −11° 52′ 18.94″[1]
Distance 1,600 light-years
Apparent magnitude (V) 8[2] / 11.8 (central star)[1]
Apparent dimensions (V) 3.8′[2]
Constellation Cetus
Physical characteristics
Radius 2-3 light-years[3]
Other designations Skull Nebula,[4] Pac-Man Nebula,[5] Caldwell 56

NGC 246, known as the Skull Nebula,[4] is a planetary nebula in the constellation Cetus. The nebula and the stars associated with it are listed in several catalogs, as summarized by the SIMBAD database.[1] It is roughly 1,600 light-years away.[6] The nebula's central star is the 12th magnitude[6] white dwarf HIP 3678.

Among some amateur astronomers, NGC 246 is known as the "Pac-Man Nebula" because of the arrangement of its central stars and the surrounding star field.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "SIMBAD Astronomical Database". Results for NGC 246. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  2. ^ a b "SEDS NGC Catalog Online". Results for NGC 246. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  3. ^ "NGC 246". Astronomy: Stars & Planets. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  4. ^ a b "The Night Sky", Astronomy Now, Oct 2008.
  5. ^ a b David H. Levy, Deep Sky Objects, Prometheus Books, 2005, ISBN 1-59102-361-0, p 129.
  6. ^ a b Stephen James O'Meara, The Caldwell Objects, Sky Publishing Corporation, ISBN 0-933346-97-2, p 223.

External links

  • NGC 246 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images