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M27 - Dumbbell Nebula

Technical card

Resolution: 5600x3150

Dates: Sept. 1, 2016

Frames:
Astrodon Ha 5mm: 24x180" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 24x180" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon SII 5nm: 24x180" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1

Integration: 3.6 hours

Avg. Moon age: 29.17 days

Avg. Moon phase: 0.15%

Astrometry.net job: 1654270

RA center: 299.898 degrees

DEC center: 22.715 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.424 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 157.632 degrees

Field radius: 0.379 degrees

Locations: Home, Onalaska, Texas, United States

Description

The naming of this planetary nebula goes back to the English astronomer John Herschel, who described M27 as a “nebula shaped like a dumb-bell, with the elliptic outline completed by a feeble nebulous light”. Growing up, the word "dumbbell" never conjured up a positive image for me. So I prefer to refer to this sky object by its alternate name, the Apple Core Nebula. It's also called the Diablo Nebula, but I don't know the origin of that name. This object consists of gas that has been ejected from the hot central star, a white dwarf, in its last stage of life. This white dwarf star, barely visible at the center of the image, is thought to be larger than any other known white dwarf in our sky. The gas atoms in the nebula are excited (heated) by the intense ultraviolet radiation from this star and emit strongly at specific wavelengths. This image was taken using hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur narrowband filters and assigning each of the three elements to a red/blue/green color channel. Many unsolved mysteries remain about these sky objects, including the physical mechanism which is able to expel the low-mass star's gaseous outer-envelope, leaving a hot white dwarf. The Dumbbell Nebula is more than 100 times more luminous than our Sun, while the central dwarf star has only about a third of the Sun’s luminosity. The nebula is brighter than the star itself because the star mainly emits in the non-visible part of the spectrum and then the nebula absorbs the radiation and emits much of it in visible light.

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Author

Gary Imm
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M27 - Dumbbell Nebula, Gary Imm

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