Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
NGC6853 - M27 Dumbbell Nebula
The Dumbbell Nebula was the first planetary nebula discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. John Hershel later coined the "Dumbbell" name. Even a small telescope shows the distinct hourglass shape with the surrounding egg-shaped cloud of gas. The central teal color arises from the emission lines of doubly ionized oxygen at wavelengths around 500 nm. These emission lines can only occur in a low-density environment like that of a planetary nebula. M27 is located approximately 1200 light-years from Earth and is believed to have formed between 3000 and 4000 years ago. The highly energetic central star, a very hot bluish sub dwarf with a temperature of 85,000 Kelvin, excites the gases in the blown off material to glow on their own. The shell of gas is approximately 3 light-years across with an apparent diameter of 8.4' x 6.1'.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors