NGC 6781 (Snowglobe Nebula) -- Planetary Nebula in Aquila
NGC 6781 -- The Snowglobe
I like the common name “Snowglobe” as suggested in the new European “Interstellarum Deep
Sky Atlas” over the name often used in the literature “The Ghost of the Moon” for the Planetary
Nebula NGC 6781.  The reasons are two-fold.  First, the nebula is far smaller than the moon
and second, the annular-nature of the nebula makes it look like a Snowglobe – fuzzy and
unfocused around the edges and milky-colored inside.

From my light-polluted-compromised yard, NGC 6781 can only faintly be seen through the
6-inch refractor.  Adding an UHC or OIII filter makes the nebula brighten as if by magic in the
eyepiece.  These Nebula-filters are expensive, but often are the making-or-breaking point
when observing specific deep sky nebula.  Like so much of the astronomical equipment these
specialized filters have improved over the past 20 years.  This was my first time using the new
Astronomik & TeleVue’s UHC filter called the “Type 2 Nebustar” which was designed to
concentrate the H-beta & OIII emission lines without compromising the colors of the stars in
the surrounding field of view.  The view was very pleasing and the Nebustar will likely become
one of my most used filters for Planetary and Emission Nebula.  At least, until something
better comes along.