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Contains:  Little Dumbbell, M 76, NGC 650
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula, 


M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula
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M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula

Technical card

Dates:Nov. 18, 2019Nov. 19, 2019Nov. 23, 2019Nov. 30, 2019Dec. 1, 2019Dec. 2, 2019

Astronomik B 1.25" Type IIc: 20x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik G 1.25" Type IIc: 20x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik Ha 12nm 1.25": 27x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik L 1.25" Type IIc: 42x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik OIII 12nm 1.25": 27x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik R 1.25" Type IIc: 20x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik SII 12nm 1.25": 26x600" -10C bin 1x1

Integration: 30.3 hours

Darks: ~30

Flats: ~30

Bias: ~100

Avg. Moon age: 13.85 days

Avg. Moon phase: 34.40%

Basic astrometry details job: 3096780

RA center: 1h 42' 20"

DEC center: +51° 34' 30"

Pixel scale: 0.509 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 359.019 degrees

Field radius: 0.241 degrees

Resolution: 2579x2233

Locations: Lighthouse Observatory, Burleson, Texas, United States

Data source: Backyard


M76, The Little Dumbbell Nebula, also known as NGC 650/651, or the Barbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included in Charles Messier's catalog of comet-like objects as number 76. It was first recognised as a planetary nebula in 1918 by the astronomer Heber Doust Curtis. However, there is some contention to this claim, as Isaac Roberts in 1891 did suggest that M76 might be similar to the Ring Nebula (M57), being instead as seen from the side view. The structure is now classed as a bipolar planetary nebula. Distance to M76 is currently estimated as 2,500 light years, making the average dimensions about 1.23 ly. across.

The total nebula shines at the apparent magnitude of +10.1 with its central star or planetary nebula nucleus at +15.9v (16.1B) magnitude. The UV-light from the PNN is expanding outer layers that form the present nebula, and has the surface temperature of about 88,400 K. The whole planetary nebula is approaching us at 19.1 km/s.

The Little Dumbbell Nebula derives its common name from its resemblance to the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) in Vulpecula. It was originally thought to consist of two separate emission nebulae and was thus given two catalog numbers in the NGC 650 and 651. Some consider this object to be one of the faintest and hardest to see objects in Messier's list.
[Source: Wikepedia].

CAPTURE Information:
The image was captured with the iOptron CEM120 mount , the venerable Meade 12"LX200 SCT, and my Atik 383L+ m CCD at F7.16 (2182mm FL). Image subs were taken through Astronomik's narrowband filters Ha, OIII and SII, along with R, G and B. All subs were done at 1x1 bin, -10C, at 10 minutes each.

IMAGE information -- 2019:
Ha : 27 subs (4.50 hr) on Nov 30th, and Dec 1st and 2nd.
OIII : 27 subs (4.50 hr) on Dec 1st and 2nd.
SII : 26 subs (4.33hr) on Dec 1st and 2nd.
Lum: 42 subs (7.00 hf) on Nov 18th, 19th and 30th.
Red: 20 subs (3.33 hr) on Nov 19th.
Green: 20 subs (3.33 hr) on Nov 19th and 23rd.
Blue: 20 subs (3.33 hr) on Nov 23rd and 30th.

ITEM 4 ( D, Final ) : RGB
Processing for the RGB image was done with PixInsight, following (for the most part) kayronjm's tutorial.

ITEM 1 ( Original ) : NB HOS Combination
ITEM 2 ( B ) : NB HSO Combination
ITEM 3 ( C ) : NB SHO Combination (Hubble Palette)
Narrowband images (items 1, 2 and 3) blended with the RGB image using PI's NBRGB Combination process utility.

North is to the right (I think), and this is a significant crop due to the troublesome star that was removed.

This is my first run at M76. The nebula is located fairly high in the northern portion of the sky, and such is an easy target.
I suspect I've not done it before is due to its small size and there has usually been something larger to shoot. And with the object's small size, there is not a lot of detail.

As presented, there are both the RGB image and a few different NB images that are blended with the RGB. Feel free to click on each of the small images.



License: None (All rights reserved)


  • M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula, 


  • M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula, 


  • M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula, 


  • Final
    M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula, 



Sky plot

Sky plot


M76 Little Dumbbell Nebula,