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Milky Way
Little Dumbbell
NGC 650/651, the Little Dumbbell Planetary Nebula in Perseus, was discovered in 1780,
and added to the Messier catalog shortly thereafter as M76.  Also sometimes referred to as
the Barbell Nebula, Butterfly Nebula or Cork Nebula.  The exact distance to M76 is in
dispute, ranging from 1,500 light years to as many as 15,000.

Weather conditions over the past several weeks have made it difficult to obtain data on
M76.  Perhaps next year Ha-SII-O[III] data can be collected.

January 15, 17, 18 & 31, February 7, 2010
Camera: SBIG STL6303E
Filters:  AstroDon LRGB
Camera control software:  CCDSoft
Guiding/adaptive optics: AO-L
Camera temperature:  -20C
Image Acquisition Software:  CCDAP4
Telescope:  RCOS 16 Carbon Tube, Aries optics, F9 with Field Flattener
Telescope control software:  RCOS TCC, TheSky6
Mount:  Paramount ME (MKS 4000)
Luminance:  20 x 10 minute, unbinned
RGB:  5 x 5 minute  & 7 x 10 minute Red, Green & Blue binned 2x2
Conditions: Humid, variable seeing, intermittent clouds.
Processing: CCDStack and Photoshop CS4.

Image appeared in August 2010 issue of
Astronomy Magazine.
Click above or here for
weather and seeing
conditions during
imaging session.
Click here for 1800x1245
Central double star
in Luminance image
Click here for 2544x1760