Planetary Nebulae

M27 – My First LRGB CCD Picture

M27 is known as The Dumbbell Nebula and is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Vulpecula – The Fox.  It is located about 1250 light years away and represents the outer ejected gas envelope of a dying star. 

This is the first image I took with my CCD camera – Atik460 – on the 28th October 2013.  This is a lovely object in the summer and early autumn skies and is very pleasing visually in a pair of binoculars or a telescope.  Its brightness and vivid colour make it a perennial favourite object for astro imagers.  

M27 - The Dumbell Nebula

Image Technical Data

This is a small dataset taken with my  superb Skywatcher ED80 Black Diamond refractor and Atik 460 CCD camera with Baader LRGB filters on an NEQ6 mount, guided with a Skywatcher guidescope and QHY5 (I still have and use this guide setup).  This is a superb imaging setup and despite its modest cost is capable of great results.  I upgraded the ED80 to a Takahashi FSQ85 and sold the ED80.  Be assured though, the super ED80 is capable of 90% of what the FDSQ can do at 10% of the cost.  I kind of regret selling that ED80 now.

Luminance 8 x 300s 1×1;  Red 6x 180s 1×1; Green 7 x 180s 1×1;  Blue 7x 180s 1×1

Developed in PixInsight – first picture I ever developed with this software.

It looks quite nice for an early effort.

P.S.  This excellent Atik 460 CCD camera and EFW2 filter wheel is still going strong after seven years of use (writing this in August 2020).  I had to have a port repair on the EFW2’s mini-USB port under Atik’s fabulous customer service in 2019 but other than that no issues whatsoever with the camera or filter wheel.  I have since upgraded the filters to Astrodon E series Gen2 LRGBHaOIII filters.

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