The Dumbbell Nebula


Mark Stronge
  Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland
Photo Title
  The Dumbbell Nebula
Time and Date taken
  2nd October 2003 0005UT
Equipment used
  Meade LX200 10inch SCT, f/6.3 focal reducer, MaxView 40mm eyepiece coupled afocally to camera
Capturing device used
  Minolta Dimage 7 5Mp
Technical details
  29x 30seconds, ISO800, stacked in Registax, processing in Paint Shop Pro

Over 1000 light years away at Mag7.3 with a surface brightness of 11.20, the Dumbbell Nebula was the first planetary nebula ever discovered. On July 12, 1764, Charles Messier discovered this new and fascinating class of objects, and describes this one as an oval nebula without stars. It is located between the constellation of Cygnus and star Altair in the constellation of Vulpecula.

The photograph below was taken with our Meade 10" LX200 SCT at F/6.3 with a 40mm Scopetronix eyepiece coupled afocally to a Minolta Dimage 7, 5megapixel consumer digital camera. We took 41 images of 30 second ISO800 exposures, unguided, out of which we used 29 images for stacking. We staceked the images in Registax using the noise reduction, and contrast boost to produce a final image. We took the final 16-bit TIFF file and adjusted the colour balance and saturation in Paint Shop Pro 8.

Using, we were able to work out that our limiting magnitude was around 16.5



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Last Updated : Friday, December 3, 2020

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