A New View of the Dumbbell Nebula

Here’s an astonishing new view of M27, the famous Dumbbell Nebula in the constellation Vulpecula.  This image is the result of an international collaboration between Andre van der Hoeven, Fred Herrmann,  and Terry Hancock who combined the light from three telescopes and three cameras into one image.

A new image of the planetary nebula M27 which combines light from ionized hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.  Click to enlarge.

A new image of the planetary nebula M27 which combines light from ionized hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Click to enlarge.

This image uses nearly 40 hours of data collected with three different telescopes and CCD cameras in Michigan, Alabama and Holland.  The images were later combined into one final image. Using narrow band filters and very long exposures, these imagers were able to capture the outer hydrogen and oxygen shell of M27 which are not normally visible in amateur images, along with emission from ionized sulfur.  These elements are present in the outer layers of the central star of this nebula, a star which is blowing off its atmosphere and leaving the hot stellar core behind.

You can learn more about planetary nebulain this article from One-Minute Astronomer

M27 lies about 1,000 light years from Earth and spans nearly a full light year, which makes it one of the larger and brighter planetaries in our skies. It’s one of some 100 objects you can learn how to see for yourself in the guide “What to See in a Small Telescope (July-September)”.  Click here to learn more about this guide…