M27, also known as The Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula. This is a beautiful and vivid target that is large and bright and easily visible through binoculars. M27 is about 1227 light-years away.
The nebula is illuminated by a white dwarf star in the center.
This was the first planetary nebula discovered by Charles Messier in 1764
Here you can see the area of the sky in Vulpecula imaged.
I wanted to have a lot more data with this target. However, when I setup up my scope for this night, I discovered that the apartment complex that I recently moved into had sprinklers set up all across the field. After five frames, I heard the sprinklers go off, and I had to pick up my gear and move to a dry spot, thus ending my night.
I had to use an Optolong L-eNhance 2″ filter due to the moon being 97% and my setup being under Bortle 6/7 skies.
I stacked the five light frames along with 40 dark and 50 flat frames in PixInsight.
The following processes were performed in PixInsight:
- Dynamic Crop
- Automatic Background Extraction
- Background Neutralization
- Photometric Color Calibration
- MultiScale Linear Transform
- Histogram Transformation
- Curves Transformation
- HDR Multiscale Transformation
Once I found what I liked, I saved the files, went to Photoshop, and ran Topaz AI DeNoise. This is an amazing plugin that works like magic.
- Telescope: Explore Scientific ED127 Air-Spaced Triplet Apochromatic Refractor
- Camera: ASI071MC Pro
- Guide Scope: Orion ST80
- Guide Camera: ASI290MM Mini. Dithering every image at 1 pixel each time.
- Mount: iOptron CEM60
- Software: NINA for image acquisition. PixInsight is used for stacking and editing. Imported to Photoshop for final touchup and watermarking.
- Other Accessories: AstroZap Dew Heater, Explore Scientific 2″ Field Flattener, ZWO EAF Motorized Focuser, Pegasus Astro Power Box Advance
- Filters: Optlong L-eNhance 2″
- Exposure Time: 25 minutes (5 X 300 seconds). Gain 90, -10°C bin 1×1
- Exposure Start: 02:00
- Date: July 08, 2020
- Location: Raritan, NJ, United States
- Temperature: 74°F/23.3°C
- Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6
- Astrometry.net job: 3814340
- Avg. Moon age: 16.11 Days
- Avg. Moon phase: 97.98%
- RA center: 19h 59′ 36″
- DEC center: +22° 43′ 1″
- Orientation: 90.643 degrees
- Field radius: 0.653 degrees
- Magnitude: 7.5
- Resolution: 3720 x 2330