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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 , being instead as seen from the side view. The structure is now classed as a bipolar planetary nebula .

Little Dumbbell Nebula
Nebula
M76-RL5-DDmin-Gamma-LRGB 883x628.jpg
Observation data: J2000.0 epoch
Right ascension 01 42.4
Declination +51° 34′ 31″
Distance 780 pc or 2,500 ly ly
Apparent magnitude +10.1
Apparent dimensions 2.7 × 1.8 arcmin
Constellation Perseus
Physical characteristics
Radius 0.617 ly ly
Designations M76, NGC 650/651
See also: Lists of nebulae

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, making the average dimensions about 0.378 pc. (1.23 ly.) across.

The total nebula shines at the apparent magnitude of +10.1 with its central star or planetary nebula nucleus (PNN) at +15.9v (16.1B) magnitude. The UV-light from the PNN is expanding outer layers that form the present nebula, and has the surface temperature of about 88,400 K. The whole planetary nebula is approaching us at −19.1 km.s.

The Little Dumbbell Nebula derives its common name from its resemblance to the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) in Vulpecula. It was originally thought to consist of two separate emission nebulae and was thus given two catalog numbers in the NGC 650 and 651. Some consider this object to be one of the faintest and hardest to see objects in Messier's list.

M76 - Little Dumbbell Nebula - Deep Sky Videos

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A virtual tour of the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) with a small telescope.

M27 - Dumbbell Nebula and Biscuits - Deep Sky Videos

Nik Szymanek offers us tea and biscuits as we go in search of the Dumbbell Nebula. Also featuring Professor Mike Merrifield from the University of Nottingham.

Zoom into Dumbbell Nebula

This video begins with a ground-based image of the entire Dumbbell Nebula and zooms into the portion of the nebula imaged by Hubble. Credit: NASA and L.

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In this episode of Star Hopping with KPO, we'll be exploring the Summer Triangle region, and using our star hopping methods to find the Ring Nebula M57, the ...

Classroom Aid - Dumbbell Nebula

Text in 'How far away is it - Planetary Nebula document at: http://howfarawayisit.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Planetary-Nebula-v2.pdf In this segment of our ...