Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

M27, the Dumbbell Nebula

M27 is one of the planetary nebulae that don't require a long-focal length scope to shoot well. Nevertheless, for objects like this a long focal length is still desirable.

M27 lies in Vulpecula, a little "fox" of a nebula giving chase to Cygnus. It is one of the largest and brightest planetary nebulae visible, and shows well even from my backyard. Its apple-core shape shows distincly through an 8" telescope. It owes its brightness mainly to its relative proximity to our location.

This image was taken from a telescope that I am renting from an individual at New Mexico Skies.
Constellation: Cygnus
When Visible: July - November
Distance: 1,250 Light-years
Date: July 2009
Location: New Mexico Skies, Mayhill, NM
Exposure Details:
H-Alpha: 18 x 20 Minutes Binned 1x1
R: 6 x 15 Minutes binned 1x1
G: 6 x 15 Minutes binned 1x1
B: 6 x 15 Minutes binned 1x1
Equipment used: RCOS 10" on a Paramount ME. SBIG ST-10XME with 5-position filter wheel and Astrodon HaLRGB filters. AO-8 adaptive optics unit. Guided using the camera's built-in guide chip and AO-8 unit.
Acquisition Software : MaximDL, TheSky6, ACP
Processing Software: MaximDL, Photoshop CS, IrFanView
A prior version of this nebula can be seen here. This was shot with a Takahashi Mewlon 210 on a Takahashi EM200 Temma-2 mount. Camera was an SBIG ST-8XE with Astrodon LRGB filters. RGB data was acquired in Highland County, Ohio. Luminance data was acquired in West Chester, Ohio.