M76 Little Dumbbell

M76 Little Dumbbell

M76  is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. It is approximately 2500 light years away, and about 1 1/2 lights years across. M76 is one of the fainter Messier objects. Planetary nebula, like M76 and M57 and M27, are made of glowing shells of gas ejected by stars late in their life.   The gas is ionized by the ultraviolet radiation from the hot core of the star. Despite the name planetary nebulae these have nothing to do with planets. They were named this when they were first discovered because of  their similar appearance in size and color to the planet Uranus that was discovered in 1781.

CROP at 200%


M76 BiColor Version 


Close up of M76


M76 20min Ha Subframe

M76 20min Ha Subframes x 22 = 440 min combined image



M76 20min OIII Subframe

M76 20min OIII Subframes 29 x 20 = 580 min combined image



M76 20min SII Subframe 

M76 20min SII Subframes 26 x 20 = 520 min combined image


 OIII data for BiColor Image Acquired by  Larry Van Vleet     Thanks Larry!!

Scope              Planewave 17in for Ha, SII, OIII   and   RCOS 16in for BiColor OIII

Camera           Apogee U16

Mount               Paramount ME

Filters               Astrodon  Ha5nm  OIII3nm  SII5nm

Exposures       Ha 6.6hrs    OIII 6hrs      Ha 20min subs   OIII 30min subs

Exposures       Ha 7.3hrs   OIII 9.6hrs   SII 8.6hrs   TriColor image

Location           Sierra Nevada Mountains CA.  Heavens Mirror Observatory  SRO       2012-13


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