Dumbell Nebula, Messier 27 Narrowband

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Dumbell Nebula, Messier 27 The Dumbell nebula was first seen by astronomer Charles Messier in the 18’th century while searching for comets. Messier diligently kept a list of the things he encountered that were definitely not comets. This is number 27 on his now famous list of 110 deep space objects. In fact, 21st century astronomers would identify it as a planetary nebula although it is not a planet. Messier 27 (M27) is an excellent example of a gaseous emission nebula created as a sun like star runs out of nuclear fuel in its core and is called a planetary nebula because of its roundish shape. The nebula forms as the star’s outer layers are expelled into space, with a visible glow generated by atoms excited by the dying star’s intense but invisible ultra violet light. Known by the popular name of the Dumbell Nebula, the beautifully symmetric interstellar gas cloud is over 2.5 light-years across and about 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula. This version of the Dumbell is done using narrowband Hydrogen and Oxygen filters. Hydrogen is red in the image and the blue green color originates from strong emission from oxygen atoms in the nebula. The inner part of the image has the familiar shape seen in the true color RGB images and the very faint and distinctive outer fan like region seen here is only visible using the narrowband filters.

This image was taken with my Planewave 20” telescope and my Finger Lakes Instruments PL16803 camera and is a combination of 100 images taken over 30 hours. This extended exposure was necessary to capture the outer fan portion of the image.

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Optics: 20″ Planewave CDK20
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME II
Camera: FLI PL16803
Filters: Astrodon Ha,Oiii 3nm
Dates/Times: Sept 2019
Location: Adler Earth and Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole, WY
Exposure Details: Ha=45x20min, 1:1 , Oiii=45x20min, 2:2, total 90 images, 30 hr
Acquisition & Guiding: MaximDL/TheSkyX, MOAG, SBIG STi
Processing: MaximDL, Photoshop CC2019