Pictures of the Dumbbell Nebula

Images of M27 the Dumbbell Nebula and facts about what makes this planetary nebula tick.

M27 In another way... by Andre van der Hoeven, HI-Ambacht, The Netherlands.

The Dumbbell nebula, M27, is located about 1,200 lightyears away in the Vulpecula constellation and at mag. +7.5, it can be observed in the night sky with a telescope.

Advertisement

The Dumbbell Nebula is a type of nebula known as a planetary nebula. These objects do not have anything to do with planets, but are known as such because they often have puffed-up, spherical shapes.

Planetary nebulae are produced when a Sun-like star begins to reach the end of its life and starts shedding its outer layers into space.

The stream of charged particles – known as a stellar wind – emanating from the star is unable to eject large chunks of cosmic material, instead gently blowing away smaller particles. The resulting expanding shell gives the planetary nebula its distinctive shape.

Is this what will happen when the Sun dies? Studying the fates of Sun-like stars certainly gives astronomers a key insight into its possible end state.

M27 by Andrew Jensen, Stowmarket, Suffolk, UK.
M27 by Andrew Jensen, Stowmarket, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 120ed Refractor, Atik 314l NEQ6 Mount.

The Dumbbell Nebula is another entry in Charles Messier‘s deep-sky Messier Catalogue, and it was discovered by the French astronomer in 1764.

If you would like to observe some planetary nebulae for yourself, read our pick of the best planetary nebulae to see in the night sky.

And for help with photographing the night sky, read our astrophotography guides and discover the best cameras for astrophotography.

Advertisement

Don’t forget to send us your images. You can share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dumbbell Nebula by Peter Taylor, UK.
Dumbbell Nebula by Peter Taylor, UK. Equipment: Meade RCX400 10″, SX H9C, SX Lodestar, ZS80IIED, PHD, Maxim.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Alan Mcgough, Manchester, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Alan Mcgough, Manchester, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Skymax 127 5″ Maksutov scope, Canon 1000D DSLR.
M27 by Brian.M.Johnson, Kelling Heath, UK.
M27 by Brian.M.Johnson, Kelling Heath, UK. Equipment: Televue NP127, Stellacam 3, analogue video.
M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula by John Berman, Whyteleafe, Surrey, UK.
M27 – The Dumbbell Nebula by John Berman, Whyteleafe, Surrey, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Explorer 250 OTA, Skywatcher EQ6, modded Cannon 450d, Baader Neodymium Filter & Coma Corrector, ST80, QHY5, PHD.
M27 Dumbbell combination of C11 with ED110 by André van der Hoeven, HI-Ambacht, The Netherlands.
M27 Dumbbell combination of C11 with ED110 by André van der Hoeven, HI-Ambacht, The Netherlands. Equipment: Celestron C11, Robtics ED110, NEQ6, SXV-H9.
M27 - Dumbbell Nebula by Danny Lee, Kent, UK.
M27 – Dumbbell Nebula by Danny Lee, Kent, UK. Equipment: Explorer 150p reflector, EQ5 PRO GOTO, Orion Star Shoot Autoguider, 50mm finder, Nikon D40 DSLR.
M27 The Dumbell Nebula by Wayne Stallard, Essex, UK.
M27 The Dumbell Nebula by Wayne Stallard, Essex, UK. Equipment: Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO mount, Celestron 11″ EdgeHD, SBIG ST-10XME.
M27 by Ashley Duffy, Nottingham, UK.
M27 by Ashley Duffy, Nottingham, UK. Equipment: William Optics ZS80, Nikon D3100.
Messier 27 Wide and Deep by Nick Howes, Cherhill, Wiltshire, UK.
Messier 27 Wide and Deep by Nick Howes, Cherhill, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: TMB 105 F6.2, Atik 4000CCD, Astronomik H-Alpha , OIII, SII filters, Meade DSI-c/ST102 autoguider, EQ6 mount, Maxim DL DDP.
Dumbell Nebula - M27 by David Burr, Wimborne, Dorset, UK.
Dumbell Nebula – M27 by David Burr, Wimborne, Dorset, UK. Equipment: Canon EOS 500D, Williams Optics 120mm Refractor.
M27 by Martin Bailey, Gnosall, Staffs, UK.
M27 by Martin Bailey, Gnosall, Staffs, UK. Equipment: Canon 1000d, Astronomik CLS CCD filter, Coma corrector, Skywatcher Explorer 200 PDS, Celestron CG5, Metaguide.
Dumbbell Nebula by Tom Howard, Crawley, Sussex, UK.
Dumbbell Nebula by Tom Howard, Crawley, Sussex, UK. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR, Meade 5000 127mm refractor, EQ6.
Dumbbell Nebula by Vincent Boom, Cobh, Co.Cork, Ireland.
Dumbbell Nebula by Vincent Boom, Cobh, Co.Cork, Ireland. Equipment: Celestron 8″SGT LXT-Starbright, GT mount, Canon 40d, Canon EOS Utillitys.
M27 In another way... by Andre van der Hoeven, HI-Ambacht, The Netherlands.
M27 In another way… by Andre van der Hoeven, HI-Ambacht, The Netherlands. Equipment: C11/ED110, SXV-H9, NEQ-6.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Canon Eos 1100d self-modified and Astronomik CLS CCD clip filter.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Neil Bintcliffe, Huddersfield, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Neil Bintcliffe, Huddersfield, UK. Equipment: Williams Optics Magrez 80 II, Canon 500D camera.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha RGB filter set.
M27 combine data by Andy Laing, Northamptonshire, UK.
M27 combine data by Andy Laing, Northamptonshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 200p, HEQ5, QHY5 guiding, ATIK16ic osc, Baader UHC-S, Astronomik CLS.
The Dumbell Nebula - M27 by David Burr, Wimborne, Dorset, UK.
The Dumbell Nebula – M27 by David Burr, Wimborne, Dorset, UK. Equipment: Richley Cretian 8″, Celestron CGEM mount, Canon 500d DSLR.
M27 The Dumbell Nebula by Steve Dean, Isle of Wight, UK.
M27 The Dumbell Nebula by Steve Dean, Isle of Wight, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 80 mm ED refractor, Skywatcher Startravel 80 mm Guidescope with QHY 5, Canon EOS 1100D with CLS filter.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Mark White, Chesterfield, UK.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Mark White, Chesterfield, UK. Equipment: 6×10 min subs, Canon 20d modded, Skywatcher 150PDS, iso800, HEQ5 Pro, UHC Filter, Guided.
M27 The Dumbbell Nebula bicolour by Ian Russell, Sutton Courtenay, UK.
M27 The Dumbbell Nebula bicolour by Ian Russell, Sutton Courtenay, UK. Equipment: Celestron 11″ EdgeHD, Celestron 0.7 focal reducer, CGEM DX, Atik 490ex, Atik OAG, IMG0H, PHD
M27 - Dumbbell Nebula by Alastair Woodward, Derby, UK.
M27 – Dumbbell Nebula by Alastair Woodward, Derby, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 6″ Newtonian, EQ3-2 with RA and Dec motors, Unmodded 350d, CLS clip filter.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Michael LaMonaco, Jenny Jump State Park, NJ, USA.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Michael LaMonaco, Jenny Jump State Park, NJ, USA. Equipment: Celestron C8, f/6.3 Reducer/Corrector, Celestron Advanced VX GEM, Canon 60Da.
Dumbbell Nebula by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK.
Dumbbell Nebula by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250 TT, QSI 690 CCD, EQ8 Mount.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Large, Colchester, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Large, Colchester, UK. Equipment: Williams Optics FLT 110, modified Canon EOS 1000d.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: Ritchey Chretien 6″, 0.67 telecompressor, Atik 314l+, Xagyl filter wheel, Baader filters, HEQ5 Pro mount.
Dumbbell on 12th September 2014 by Mark Large, Colchester, UK.
Dumbbell on 12th September 2014 by Mark Large, Colchester, UK. Equipment: Modified Canon EOS 1000d and a Williams Optics FLT 110
Dumbell Nebula by Stephen Gill, Yorkshire Dales, UK.
Dumbell Nebula by Stephen Gill, Yorkshire Dales, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11, NEQ6 mount, f/6.3 reducer, modified Canon 600D
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Large, Essex, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Large, Essex, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro 10 inch RCT, Modified Canon EOS 1000d, SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel, Astronomik filters.
Dumbbell Nebula by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK.
Dumbbell Nebula by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250TT, focal reducer, Ioptron CEM 60 mount, QHYS CCD, Chroma Technology Filters.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by José J. Chambó Bris, Hoya Redonda, Spain.
M27 Dumbbell Nebula by José J. Chambó Bris, Hoya Redonda, Spain. Equipment: GSO 8″ @ f/3,8 reflector & Canon EOS-100D camera
M27 by Mark Large, Colchester, UK.
M27 by Mark Large, Colchester, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro 10 inch RCT and a modified Canon EOS 1000D
M27 by Anthony Harris, Rhymney Valley, UK.
M27 by Anthony Harris, Rhymney Valley, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 130P-DS, EQ5 Pro Goto Mount, Canon 1000D DSLR.
Messier 27 - Dumbbell Nebula by Paul Hutchinson, Torquay, UK.
Messier 27 – Dumbbell Nebula by Paul Hutchinson, Torquay, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Explorer 200p, Canon 1100D, HEQ5, SkyWatcher 50mm/162mm Finderscope, QHYCCD qhy-5 II
M27 Narrowband by John Dolan, Glasnevin, Dublin.
M27 Narrowband by John Dolan, Glasnevin, Dublin. Equipment: C11, Starlight Xpress SXVR-H16, Losmandy G11 Gemini, OAG with Starlight Xpress Loadstar, Celestron F6.3 Focal Reducer.
M27 The Dumbbell Nebula by Daniel Orchard, Melksham, Wiltshire, UK.
M27 The Dumbbell Nebula by Daniel Orchard, Melksham, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher explorer 200p, EQ5 mount unguided Ra motor drive, Nikon D50 at prime focus.
M27 by Bjarte Fenes, Drammen, Norway.
M27 by Bjarte Fenes, Drammen, Norway. Equipment: Celestron 1100 EdgeHD, Celestron Nightscape 8300, Orion autoguider, Skywatcher AZ EQ6 GT
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Brian Thompson, Gravesend, UK.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Brian Thompson, Gravesend, UK. Equipment: Orion Optics VX10 scope, Skywatcher NEQ6 mount, Mono Atik 383L camera, Starlight Xpress Superstar Auto-guider.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
M27 Dumbell Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter.
Dumbell Nebula by Tom Howard, Crawley, Sussex, UK.
Dumbell Nebula by Tom Howard, Crawley, Sussex, UK. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR, Meade 5000 127mm refractor, Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount.
Dumbell Nebula by Ron Brecher, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Dumbell Nebula by Ron Brecher, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Equipment: Moravian G3-16200 EC, Optolong Ha, O3 and RGB filters, 10″ f/3.6 ASA astrograph, Paramount MX, QHY5 guide, Lumicon 500 mm f.l. achromat, SkyX, FocusMax.
M27 The Dumbbell Nebula by Gareth Davies, Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, UK.
M27 The Dumbbell Nebula by Gareth Davies, Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Evostar ED 80, Skywatcher EQ3 Pro mount, Canon 700d DSLR
The Dumbbell Nebula by James Harrop, Gomersal, West Yorkshire, UK.
The Dumbbell Nebula by James Harrop, Gomersal, West Yorkshire, UK. Equipment: Skymax pro 180 and Canon 6D DSLR
M27 by Jaroslav Vlcek, Dolni Cermna, Czech Republic.
M27 by Jaroslav Vlcek, Dolni Cermna, Czech Republic. Equipment: NTW 200/800, EQ6 mount, Atik ONE6.0, RGB 60 min each channel.
Dumbbell Nebula by Owen Lowery, Gateshead, UK.
Dumbbell Nebula by Owen Lowery, Gateshead, UK. Equipment: NEQ6 PRO, Atik 460ex, Espirt120mm refractor, Ha/oiii filters
Dumbbell Nebula by Tom Howard, Brighstone, Isle of Wight.
Dumbbell Nebula by Tom Howard, Brighstone, Isle of Wight. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR, Meade 5000 127mm refractor, AZ-EQ6 mount.