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M27  (NGC 6853),  The  DumBbell  Nebula, 

in  Vulpecula - CCD Image

The planetary nebula M27 is  relatively large for a planetary (8'x5')  and bright. Burnham places it at roughly 900 lightyears away, more recent data indicate a distance of 1250 ly.   Presumably the small central star is the source of the explosion that produced this ball of glowing gas. Faint lobes of bluish-green  nebulosity can be seen at the upper right and lower left.

This object provides a wonderful learning exercise in CCD image processing. One needs to balance the green and blue of the inner OIII emission and maintain the slightly curdled appearance in the red emission areas. The much older film image can be seen here


 Date  2002-06-30

 RCOS  12.5 inch RC at f/9 with  ST-10 XME/CFW-8a on an  A-P 1200 GTO mount    


  RGB: 5 x 5 minute unbinned frames, SBIG filters.


 Calibrated and combined in MaxIm 3.07. Colors combined to RGB (1:1:1.3)  in MaxIm.  RGB  levels    

 adjusted, and dust & scratches filter,  mild unsharp mask,  and mild blur applied  in Photoshop 6.    



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