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Contains:  M 76, Little Dumbbell, NGC 650

Image of the day 12/29/2018

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    M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula in BiColor Ha & OIII, 





    
        

            Douglas J Struble
    M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula in BiColor Ha & OIII

    M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula in BiColor Ha & OIII

    Technical card

    Resolution: 3086x2125

    Dates:Nov. 18, 2018Dec. 18, 2018

    Frames:
    Astrodon Ha 5nm: 168x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1
    Astrodon OIII 3nm: 201x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1

    Integration: 12.3 hours

    Darks: ~50

    Flats: ~50

    Bias: ~250

    Avg. Moon age: 10.12 days

    Avg. Moon phase: 77.46%

    Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00

    Astrometry.net job: 2477327

    RA center: 25.714 degrees

    DEC center: 51.554 degrees

    Pixel scale: 0.648 arcsec/pixel

    Orientation: 187.440 degrees

    Field radius: 0.337 degrees

    Locations: Backyard Red Zone Observatory, Taylor, MI, Michigan, United States

    Data source: Backyard

    Description

    Messier 76 (M76), also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula located in the constellation Perseus.

    The nebula lies at an approximate distance of 2,500 light years from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 10.1. It has the designations NGC 650 and NGC 651 in the New General Catalogue as it was once believed to consist of two separate emission nebulae.

    The Little Dumbbell Nebula is sometimes also called the Cork Nebula or the Barbell Nebula. It occupies an area of 2.7 by 1.8 arc minutes of apparent sky, which corresponds to a spatial diameter of only 1.23 light years. The nebula’s size and faintness makes it one of the most difficult Messier objects to observe.

    Messier 76 lies in the eastern part of Perseus constellation, next to the border with Andromeda. It is quite easy to find because it is located just south of Cassiopeia‘s W asterism and about a degree north-northwest of the magnitude 4.0 star Alseiph, Phi Persei. The nebula is in the same region of the sky as the Andromeda Galaxy (M31).

    The Little Dumbbell Nebula is one of only four planetary nebulae listed in the Messier catalogue. The other three are the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) in Vulpecula constellation, the Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra, and the Owl Nebula (M97) in Ursa Major.

    The Little Dumbbell Nebula was named for its resemblance to the much larger Dumbbell Nebula. Its main body, known as the “cork,“ probably looks like an elliptical, donut-shaped ring when seen face-on, but appears to us edge-on. The gas along the axis of the ring expands more rapidly, forming the nebula’s “wings,” which are fainter than the main body. The cork and the wings are surrounded by an even fainter halo that consists of material that the central star ejected while it was still in its red giant phase.

    The Little Dumbbell Nebula was formed when a Sun-like star ran out of fuel in a late stage of its life and then expelled its outer layers. The expelled material was then heated by the radiation of the stellar remnant, producing the glowing clouds that we see as the nebula. The clouds will disperse over the next several thousand years and the central white dwarf will eventually cool and fade away.

    Comments

    Author

    dugstruble
    Douglas J Struble
    License: None (All rights reserved)
    119410
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    Revisions

      M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula in BiColor Ha & OIII, 





    
        

            Douglas J Struble
      Original
    • Final
      M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula in BiColor Ha & OIII, 





    
        

            Douglas J Struble
      C

    C

    Adjusted the blue channel a bit.

    Sky plot

    Sky plot

    Histogram

    M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula in BiColor Ha & OIII, 





    
        

            Douglas J Struble