It's M27, the Dumbbell Nebula
, a gray puffball just to the upper left of the tip of Sagitta, the Arrow.
STAR STRUCK: Galaxy NGC7476, above, was observed in August; and the Little Dumbbell Nebula
, right, in July
They show material being ejected from dying stars called the Exposed Cranium Nebula, the Ghost of Jupiter Nebula and the Little Dumbbell Nebula
While Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula
, is probably one of the favourite Messier objects to observe and image, its little brother M76--the Little Dumbbell--seems to be rather overlooked.
If we could see the Ring Nebula from the plane of its equator, it might look much like our next object, the Dumbbell Nebula
(M27) in Vulpecula, the Little Fox.
Even rather dim M76, the Little Dumbbell Nebula
, and NGC 1499, the elusive California Nebula, get considerable attention.
The fainter one lies near the planetary nebula M27, also known as the Dumbbell Nebula
Planetary nebula: I'm going with M27, the Dumbbell Nebula
, in Vulpecula.
If you trace it from feathered end to arrow-tip in a finderscope, then make an almost right-angle turn north and go about 2/3 of an arrow length, you'll find yourself at M27, the Dumbbell Nebula
Although the first planetary nebula, the Dumbbell Nebula
(M27), was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764, it was William Herschel who gave these objects their name when he conducted his survey of the Northern sky in the late 1700s.
We'll finish our fox hunt east of the Coathanger at the Dumbbell Nebula
The Dumbbell Nebula
(M27) in Vulpecula is much bigger and more obvious, looking like a little pillow floating among the rich Milky Way background.