Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Planetary nebula in Vulpecula

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.  The nebula is about 1200 light years away.

Image details:  20 images, each 120 seconds at ISO 800, taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/10.

August 2008