You ever have one of those projects that just gets away from you. 🙂
From the end of July to the beginning of September, I collected 11 nights’ worth of data on this target, getting almost 49 hours in total exposure, my new record for a single target. Since I am still shooting in broadband, I wanted a lot of time on this target to try to bring out the very dim wings. And I got them! It took an entire Sunday for my computer to process 722 subexposures.
Messier 27, commonly called the Dumbbell Nebula, is a bright planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula. It lies about 1300 light years away, and it is estimated to be about 10,000 years old. The progenitor star is a white dwarf that has a radius of about 1/50th and a mass of about 1/100th of our Sun. This puts the radius of this white dwarf as about twice Earth’s. The diameter of this nebula is one light year, making it as wide as 800 solar systems. The expansion rate of the shell of gas is 20 miles per second.
The two primary colors of the nebula, red and cyan, are due to emissions of hydrogen (Hα) and oxygen ([O III]), respectively. There are also trace amounts of nitrogen (N II) and sulfur (S II).