Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Planetary nebula in Vulpecula

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Star-hop chart

The Dumbbell Nebula is one of the largest and brightest planetary nebulae visible in our skies, glowing at about magnitude 7.  As the picture shows, the brightest sections of the nebula have an hourglass or dumbbell shape that is fairly easy to see with a small telescope.  Like all planetary nebulae, it is a shell of ionized gases that have been expelled by a star near the end of its life.  The star responsible is the one in the very center of the dumbbell shape. 

Magnitude 7.5
Apparent Size 8' x 5.6'
Distance (light yrs) 1,360
Right Ascension 19:59.6
Declination +22 43

Image details:  Exposure times of 42 minutes luminance and 18 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14" Meade LX850 telescope at f/6.

August 2014