Astronomy Picture of the Week – M27 Or Dumbbell Nebula

This greenish nebula was discovered by Charles Messier, a French astronomer of the 18th century. Originally he did not know what the object was, except that it was neither a star nor a comet. Now we know that it is a planetary nebula. It was formed by the explosion of a sun-like star (nova). It is officially designated as Messier 27 (M27, or NGC 6853), while it is commonly known as the Dumbbell Nebula. This beautiful nebula is located over 1,200 light-years away in the Vulpecula constellation.

Messier Object 27, M27 or Dumbbell Nebula

Image Credits: ESO, the European Southern Observatory.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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