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M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula

Technical card

Imaging telescope or lens: Planewave CDK 12,5'' 12.5 CDK

Mount: apt1200gto AP1200

Guiding camera: QSI 583wsg

Software: CCD Autopilot 5

Resolution: 1200x885

Dates: June 10, 2010

Frames: 31x600"

Integration: 5.2 hours

Avg. Moon age: 26.93 days

Avg. Moon phase: 7.47%

Astrometry.net job: 1511718

RA center: 299.901 degrees

DEC center: 22.720 degrees

Pixel scale: 1.145 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -14.636 degrees

Field radius: 0.237 degrees

Locations: ImagingInfinity Observatory, Bethune, SC, United States

Description

M27 is one of a class of objects known as "planetary" nebulae, which derives its name from the fact that early astronomers saw these objects through crude telescopes and thought they resembled planets because of their apparent round shape. It was later realized that these objects are not part of our solar system at all, but are the remnants of stars which have exploded, blowing their outer layers into space. Based on studies of the rate of expansion of M27, the time since its explosion is estimated at 3000 to 4000 years. What is left of the original star can be seen in the middle of the nebula, which is now classified as a bluish hot sub-dwarf dwarf star with a surface temperature of 85,000 degrees Kelvin. The highly energetic radiation emitted by the central star excites the gases in the blown off material to glow on their own.

M27 lies at a distance of approximately 1200 light-years.

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Author

Hap Griffin
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M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula, Hap Griffin