The Little Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula which, unlike its larger “brother” M27 in Vulpecula, is much fainter.
In fact it is one of the fainter objects in the Messier catalog.

M76 can be found in the constellation Perseus.
Although discovered in 1780, It took until 1918 unil it was first recognised as being a planetary nebula.
The nebula is now classed as a bipolar planetary nebula (BPNe).

Other versions

Previous/older images:

Sep 27, 2008 – Canon 20D (10″ Newt. 2h)

Image data

Object info
Name M76 – The Little Dumbbell Nebula
Type Planetary nebula
Constellation Perseus
Right ascension 01h 42m 24s
Declination +51° 34′ 31″
Distance 2.500 ly
Other designations NGC 650/651
Image info
Image date Aug. 12, 2012
Light frames 16x 3 min. RGB (each) unbinned, 24x 4 min. UHC-S unbinned (Luminance)
Total integration 4h
Dark frames 22x
Flat frames 12x p. filter unbinned. Created with an A3 size Posterpoweruk flatfield panel
Bias frames 10x
Software used CCDOps, CCDSoft, Maxim DL, Photoshop CS4
Processing CCDOPS was used for focussing. Image Acquisition was done using CCDSoft.
All separate frames were calibrated, aligned and stacked in MaxIm DL5 Pro.
Photoshop CS4 was used for further processing – curves adjustment, levels adjustment, etc.
Noel Carboni’s toolset was used as well (Local Contrast Enhancement, Deep Space Noise Reduction)
(L)RGB combine was done in Photoshop.
Equipment info
Telescope Orion Optics SPX 10″ Newton
Corrector Televue 2″ Paracorr coma corrector (FL: 1.380mm f/5.43)
Mount Losmandy G-11 Gemini
Camera SBIG ST-8300M
Guide camera Atik 1HS Mono
Guide scope Celestron 60/700 Achromat
Autoguide software PHD Guiding
Filters Baader 2″ RGB + IDAS LPS-P2
Location Landgraaf, The Netherlands
Image comments

Some strange artefacts (flares) at the top of brighter stars.
Maybe a bad light frame somewhere in the data that slipped through.