M27 Dumbell Nebula
DETAILS: Imaged with the 12.5" Truss RC (RCOS Optical Systems) July 20, 2004, using a Precision Instrument Rotator to find the brightest guide star, at f9, with unbinned Luminance, and guided by the AO-7 on a Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount. Camera is an ST-10XME. Luminance is two and one-half hours, with 30 minutes each of LRGB binned 2. All allignment of reduced frames (bias, darks, flats) done in RegiStar. CCDSharp, MaxIm DL, and Photoshop CS with a variety of plug-ins used in the processing. RGB combine ratios were 1:1.1:0.9 using AstroDon TruBalance filters.
COMMENTARY: M27 is a bright, well-defined, and popular imaging target in the Constellation Vulpecula. It is a planetary nebula resulting from the demise of a sun-like star through the various evolutionary stages to its present white dwarf status, puffing off its outer atmospheres and bombarding the gases and dusts with high-energy illuminating radiation, causing expanding shock waves. M27 is approximately 800-1000 light-years distant, about 2-3 light-years in diameter.