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July 29, 1995
M27: The Dumbbell Nebula
Credit: The Electronic Universe Project, Karen Gloria
The Dumbbell Nebula is a beautiful red and blue planetary nebula in the
constellation of Vulpecula. It is the 27th object on
list of diffuse sky objects,
and so is referred to as M27.
Its high surface brightness makes it
a good target for small telescopes.
The term planetary nebula, used
to describe this general class of objects, is misleading.
Although these objects may appear round and
planet-like in small telescopes,
astronomers have determined them to be
stars surrounded by cocoons of gas blown off
in the late stages of evolution.
For more information on M27 see The Electronic Universe Project's
Many images of Messier objects can be found in
The Electronic Universe Project's
The Galaxy Gallery: Messier Objects.
Tomorrow's picture: Saturn's Rings
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