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