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Friday, July 27, 2012

M 27 - Dumbbell Nebula in HaO3RGB

The Dumbbell Nebula Messier 27 (M27, NGC 6853) is perhaps the finest planetary nebula in the sky, and was the first planetary nebula ever discovered.

This planetary nebula is certainly the most impressive object of its kind in the sky, as the angular diameter of the luminous body is nearly 6 arc minutes, with a faint halo extensing out to over 15', half the apparent diameter of the Moon (Millikan 1974). 

It is also among the brightest, being at most little less luminous with its estimated apparent visual magnitude 7.4 than the brightest, the Helix Nebula NGC 7293 in Aquarius, with 7.3, which however has a much lower surface brightness because of its larger extension (estimates from Stephen Hynes); it is a bit unusual that this planetary is only little fainter photographically (mag 7.6). The present author (hf) was surprized how fine this object was seen in his 10x50 binoculars under moderately good conditions!

Telescope: APM Astrograph 107, f/6.5 with Baader Steeltrack Focuser and 2.5'' TS FF
Mount: NEQ6 Pro with EQ Mod and XBOX Wireless Controller
Camera: ATIK 314L+
Image Scale: 1.91 arcsec/pixel
Filter: Baader Ha 7nm, OIII 8.5nm, RGB, IDAS LPS
Filter Wheel: Starlight Xpress Motor USB, 7x1.25''
Guide Camera: QHY5 with PHD Guiding and TS UV/IR Block
Guide Scope: Skywatcher Finderscope 8x50
Total Exp. Time: 6 hours (Ha: 160 mins, O3: 116 min, RGB: 28:28:28 min) Bin 1x1
Temperature: Ambient (23 - 27C), CCD (0C)
Capture: Nebulosity 2
Register, Stack: Maxim DL, CCD Stack 
Processing: Photoshop CS3
Date: 13 & 20 July 2012
Location: Salamina, GR

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