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Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2007

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M27 Dumbbell Nebula (NGC 6853), Kyle Lincoln

Dumbbell Nebula

The imagination of God is amazing. As can be observed through the example of this planetary nebula, in which the life of a star has come to an end. Though this was once a star, and probably shined bright demonstrating the glory of God, it has reached the end of its life. And even still it somewhat shines for us. The fuel (hydrogen) has all burned up, leaving a shell of gases. So called a planetary nebula because under weaker telescopes they demonstrate the appearance of a planet. The phrase was first coined by William Herschel, after he discovered Uranus. Dumbbell is the first planetary nebula to be discovered, and was first observed by Charles Messier, on July 12, 1764.

You can see the gases as they spread out forming a shell in the image above. The colors are mostly red and green, which means they are the gases hydrogen and oxygen respectively.  There’s less hydrogen as this has mostly been used up, and a lot more oxygen. In the center is a small blue star, which is the star that is dying. Because it's blue we can assume that it's very hot, and therefore is producing the light that is illuminating the gases. It's because of processes like this that planets, such as ours, can have oxygen. The distance of the nebula from us is about 1250 light-years, so we can determine that it's about 1.99 light-years across. This clearly shows the amazement of God's creative power.

References:
Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "Messier27." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m027.html>

Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "Planetary Nebulae " Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://www.seds.org/messier/planetar.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 19:59:36
Declination (J2000) 22:43:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in BVRC
Date observed

October 23, 2007 (C)
October 25, 2007 (BVR)