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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

M27, the "Dumbbell Nebula", reprocessed

Since my processing technique gets better and weather doesn't give any support, I have reprocessed some older images. There is now star colors added and other processing is tweaked too.

Messier 27, the "Dumbbell Nebula"
Ra 19h 59m 36.340s Dec +22° 43′ 16.09″

Be sure to click to an image to see it in large size! 
Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as a Messier 27, M 27, or NGC 6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1360 light years. It has a large angular diameter as a planetary nebula, about 8 x 5,6 arc minutes. (Rarely imaged outer halo is not included, it can be seen in my image. With an outer shell, the diameter is over 15'' (more than a size of  the half a Moon))
Planetary nebulae are shells of gas shed by stars late in their life cycles after using up all of their nuclear fuel. The star then ejects a gaseous shell, which is illuminated by its extremely hot central star, a core left from the original star. n this image, the central star is clearly visible at very center of the nebula. M27's central star has a magnitude of 13.5 and is an extremely hot blueish dwarf with a temperature of about 85,000 K.
Our own star, the Sun, is expected to undergo the same process in a couple of billion years. 

Be sure to click to an image to see it in large size! 
Image is in HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope)
from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.
Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III and B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.

A closeup

H-alpha channel, 
no other processing, than calibration, stacking and nonlinear stretching.
In the final image, light deconvolution with a CCDSharp software was added, 30 iterations.
(Value 3 in CCDSharp)

Image is shot with a QHY9, Baader narrowband filter set and the Meade lx200 GPS 12" telescope..
Original versions from November 2009, with technical details:


Unknown said...

Very nice! Really pops out and superb structure in the main nebula.
Here is my attempt

J-P Metsavainio said...


You have a very deep image, you must shoot from a dark location.
My light pollution is massive, hence only narrowband work from here.

Unknown said...

It was VERY dark there...
An awesome place and run by very nice people.