The Little Dumbbell Nebula, also known as Messier 76, NGC 650/651, the Barbell Nebula, or the Cork Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included in Charles Messier’s catalog of comet-like objects as number 76. It was first recognised as a planetary nebula in 1918 by the astronomer Heber Doust Curtis. However, there is some contention to this claim, as Isaac Roberts in 1891 did suggest that M76 might be similar to the Ring Nebula (M57), being instead as seen from the side view. The structure is now classed as a bipolar planetary nebula (BPNe).
Distance to M76 is currently estimated as 780 parsecs or 2,500 light years.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Celestron C1100 Edge HD
Imaging cameras: Atik 428EX
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6 Pro
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Celestron C1100 Edge HD
Software: Stark Labs Nebulosity 3.1, PixInsight, PHD, Adobe Photoshop CS5 CS5
Filters: Baader Planetarium L,R,G,B,Ha,Oiii,Sii
Accessories: Celestron OAG, Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Dates: Oct. 1, 2012
Author: Tim Jardine
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
28 March 2014