sponsored by psychohistorian.org


Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database


Welcome, guest!

If you've already registered, please log in,

or register an observer profile for added functionality.


log in to manage your observing lists























Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 2736 (5,837 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




finder chart

altitude today

altitude (year)


½°, , in DOCdb

Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 167

Warning: fopen(/home/yivumoo/public_html/logs/showobject/20211203.txt): failed to open stream: Disk quota exceeded in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 168

Warning: fwrite() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 181

Warning: fclose() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 182

show browsing

Herschel's Ray

NGC 2736, Streak Nebula, Pencil Nebula, Herschel's Ray, h 3145, GC 1745

RA: 09h 00m 12s
Dec: −45° 57′ 0″

Con: Vela
Ch: MSA:964, U2:397, SA:20


(reference key)

Type: bright nebula (HII region)

Mag: B=?, V=?

Size: ?
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

Select a sketch and click the button to view

Photos  (2)

Select a photo and click the button to view

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 2736. On the SERC IIIa-J film, this appears to be the brightest patch in a supernova remnant that covers most of the 6.4 deg field with delicate whisps of nebulosity. On the ESO IIIa-F film, however, it is much brighter than the rest of the SNr, and I wonder if the relatively bright star immersed in it is exciting it as it passes by. In either case, it is certainly a diffuse gaseous nebula, not a galaxy.


Streak Nebula - Shapley, H. & Paraskevopoulos, J.S. (1940), p35.

Historical observations

John Herschel (1847) Cape Observations

Discovered by Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "eeF, L, vvmE; an extraordinarily long narrow ray of excessively feeble light, position 19 degrees approx. The N.f. end is brighter and narrower than the S.p. At least 20' long, extending much beyond the limits of the field. A star 8th mag, and one about 8th mag, near it. See Plate V, fig. 12."

Ellery, R.L.J. (1885) Melbourne Observations

Recorded in "Observations of the Southern Nebulae made with the Great Melbourne Telescope".

See the discussion of Lithograph M.4.34 for the details.

Published comments

Shapley, H. & Paraskevopoulos, J.S. (1940)

Galactic and Extragalactic Studies, III. Photographs of thirty southern nebulae and clusters. Proc. N.A.S., 26, 31-36.

p 35; name suggested for NGC 2736.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a galaxy.

Modern observations

Brian Skiff

QBS: part of Gum nebula.

15cm - remarkably exlong exthin emis neb. 80x + UHC shows it 25' long and 1'.5 wide in pa25. rel sharp border on E-facing flank, smooth fading on W. lies W of m8 *. BS, 24Feb1990, LCO.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

2010 February 15

Location: Alldays

12-inch f/10 SCT (218x 346x)

The use of the 0III filter brings out this object to its full. The streak of light is surprising quite straight in a north-north-east to south-south-west direction. The north-eastern side is much more defining with a softer washed out south-western. The northern field of view is much busier with brighter stars.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

Object search

First search phrase


Second search phrase

Type of object to include:

open cluster
globular cluster
planetary nebula
bright nebula
dark nebula
galaxy cluster
asterism & stars

The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

Known issues, feature requests, and updates on bug fixes, are here:

> Bug Report


Found a bug? Have a comment or suggestion to improve DOCdb? Please let us know!

> Contact us


DOCdb is a free online resource that exists to promote deep sky observing.

You could help by sharing your observations, writing an article, digitizing and proof-reading historical material, and more.

> Find out more

Everything on DOCdb.net is © 2004-2010 by Auke Slotegraaf, unless stated otherwise or if you can prove you have divine permission to use it. Before using material published here, please consult the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. Some material on DOCdb is copyright the individual authors. If in doubt, don't reproduce. And that goes for having children, too. Please note that the recommended browser for DOCdb is Firefox 3.x. You may also get good results with K-Meleon. Good luck if you're using IE. A successful experience with other browsers, including Opera and Safari, may vary.

Warning: Unknown: open(/tmp/sess_058fe3e45a8b8766c240f2fcec4a1cbe, O_RDWR) failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0