This 8.0 x 5.7 arcmin. large and 7.5mag bright Planetary Nebula is one of the brightest in all our heaven.As an easy binocular object it was first seen by Charles Messier in 1764.
Its real distance is about 1400 light-years with a diameter of 3 light-years.The central-star is a 100.00Kelvin hot white dwarf.It has half the mass of our sun.
It emitts strong radiation in Halpha and also OIII as can be seen in the b/w-pictures on this page.The shells extend by about 6-7" per year.
Till today there are remaining important questions about the physics that happen when a sun explodes after having reached the end of nuclear fusion.
position (epoch 2000):
RA.: 19h 59m 36s
Decl.:+22° 43′ 16″
RGB image from:
a total of 18.0 hours
80cm f/7 AstroOptik Keller corrected cassegrain FLI Proline 16803 Astrodon LRGB GenII filters
Prompt 7 CTIO/UNC Chile,remote controlled
image processing: Bernd Flach-Wilken
here you see M27 in the maximum field (22.6´x22.6´) of our equipment.For full resolution click here.
this animation shows the emissions in Halpha and OIII:
a detailed view to the clouds in the center of M27 can be seen here (HST)