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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Messier 27, Dumbbell Nebula

Yes, Dumbbell here was the first planetary nebula to be discovered, and resides in the faint northern constellation of Vulpecula. The central star is a white dwarf, larger than any known white dwarf. In 1970, astrophysicists found the nebula around the star was expanding at 31 km per second, suggesting an age of only 9,800 years!

Unguided, 202 x 15 second JPEG frames, roughly 51 minutes of exposure, 1600 ASA, noise reduction enabled. Just stacked and stretched, great natural color and contrast. The images were taken between the hours of 10:30pm and 1:00am in the morning. The prior blog entry regarding M33 was taken afterwards until about 3:30am in the morning. The M33 shot is much more grainy, given largely to being in the portion of the sky over the Tucson light dome. In the future, I should probably avoid imaging toward the West and Southwest portions of the night sky.

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