Dumbbell Time

Seeing  turbulence in the air) wasn’t great.  Stars were twinkling away with the best of them which does compromise image quality fairly significantly.  Still, I wanted to get M27 again since I re-calibrated the settings for my camera and learned a bit more about exactly how far is too far with a CCD.  This is a quick process but sometimes those are the best.

Messier 27 is a ‘planetary’ nebula of highly energetic Hydrogen (red) and Oxygen(blue/green) in the northern constellation of Vulpecula (the Little Fox).   What we see is the outer shell of a dying star of about half our Sun’s mass.  This is how our star will die, in about another 5 billion years.  This nebula is relatively close at 1,360 light years distance.  Observations of this nebula put the expansion rate of the gas cloud at about 31km per second in a 1970 study.  That puts the age of the nebula at about 9,800 years.

Messier 27 (c) Tim Schuh 2018







  • 60 sub exposures of 5 minutes each
  • Celestron EdgeHD800 @ F/7.0
  • QHY8L CCD @ -10C
  • iOptron CEM60 mount
  • Orion ST-80 + ZWO ASI120MM-S for guiding