M27: The Dumbell Nebula




M27 lies in the small constellation of Vulpecula, the little fox.  It is a large bright nebula easily seen in binoculars from a moderately dark site, even from suburbia.  From within the metropolitan New York City area, you will need a small to moderate sized telescope depending on exactly where you live.  This is easily found in my 8-inch f/6 Newtonian, and is detectably in smaller scopes even here.

The view here is very minimalistic for two reasons.  First, it's all I have since the imaging session when I took this was really a shake-down period for the equipment and things did not go very well.  So the amount of data I have simply won't support a high resolution image.  Second, I wanted to produce something that approximated the visual impression in a modest sized telescope.  While my 8-inch Dobsonian is not large, it's also not really in the "small" category either.  But the above view is about what I see from here in Brooklyn.  If you live under dark skies, you can expect a view like this with a smaller telescope.

In August of 2005, a nova appeared in the sky near M27.  The nova was quite faint and does not appear here, but Jerry Lodriguss captured it serendipitously on an image he was taking about that time.