M76, The Little Dumbell


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By
Catalog
Obj Type
Location
Date Taken:
Smoot
Messier 76
Nebula
Mayhill, NM
11-13-2010
Description

M76, the Little Dumbell, is a planetary nebula located in the constellation Perseus.  This nebula lies at a distance of about 2500 light years and has a diameter of around 1.25 light years.  This is one of the fainter objects in the Messier catalog.  The nebula is surrounded by a faint halo, barely visible in this image, that is probably material ejected from the star while it was in a red giant phase. 

This object is difficult to process while keeping some of the inner detail of the nebula and also showing the faint outer portions.  As can be seen in Don Goldman's APOD for this object, narrow band imaging can help in this.  The image shown here is really just LRGB.  I did take Ha for the object but was not happy with the results when I included it.

Technical Details
Exposure Time:
4.25 hrs L/2 hrs Each RGB/7 hrs Ha
Camera:
SBIG STL-11000M
Telescope:
RCOS 16 inch f/8.7 Ritchey-Chretien
Mount:
Software Bisque Paramount ME
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Used with permission, No reproduction of these images are permitted without written approval from Smoot.