M27, The Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula


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Description: Called the Dumbbell nebula because of its visual appearance, this planetary nebula is the brightest in the sky.  The central star is a bright blue dwarf.  The outer shell shows up primarily in Ha filtering with a considerable OIII component.
Exposure Data: 9/4-12/2008.  LRGBHaOIII: 18x10m, 4x20m, 4x20m, 4x20m, 9x20m, 23x15m, all 1x1 except OIII binned 2x2. -15C, 0.5 arc-sec./pixel.  15.75 hours total exposure.
Processing: Acquired via CCDAutoPilot and CCDSoft or Maxim, calibrated and combined in CCDStack, final processing in PS CS3.
Optical System: 16 Ritchey-Chretien @ F/9 w/FFC, Apogee Alta U16M/FW50-7S CCD camera, AstroDon filters, Paramount ME, dithered 3 pixels, off-axis guided with SBIG ST-402ME.
Comments: Total exposure was almost 16 hours.  Thanks to Ken Crawford for many processing tips.