|Object Type||Planetary Nebula|
|Size||3.0' x 3.0'|
M97 is a large and relatively bright planetary nebula in Ursa Major, about 3 degrees south-east of Merak, the star which marks the south-western star in the bowl of the Big Dipper. The nebula can be difficult to observe under moderate light pollution because it has a rather low surface brightness. The two darker portions which give rise to the common name are visible in a 10" telescope under dark skies.
About one degree to the north and slightly west of M97, is the bright galaxy M 108.
Just below the nebula, partly obscured by a star, is the 16th magnitude galaxy, PGC 344279, while just above the nebula are a number of faint galaxies, the brightest of which is the 17.4 magnitude PGC 2490291. Numerous other faint galaxies are also visible in the image.