M27 - NGC 6853
DSS image of M27
Overlaid DSS image of M27, 30' x 30' with north at top and west to the right

Aladin viewer for the region around M27
Dumbbell Nebula
Bode 67, h 2060, GC 4532, Hen 2-452, PK 60-3.1, PN G060.8-03.6

Type  Planetary Nebula
Magnitude  8.1
Size  15.2' x 8'
RA (2000)  19h 59' 36.5"
Dec (2000)  22° 43' 16" N
Constellation  Vulpecula
Description  !!vB, vL, bi-N, IE
Classification  3(2)
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Jun 24, 2020    Waikoloa, HI (map)
20cm f/6 Newtonian, Cave Astrola @ 61x

Large, bright, roughly round with more defined outer boundary north and south while the east and west extents are soft and ill defined, no color noted, no central star visible, no annular structure or darkening to the center

Andrew Cooper
Aug 8, 2013    Indian Springs, Oregon Star Party (map)
Regalo de Estrella 6" f/5.4 @ 59x

Easy to find off of γSge, 2° or outer telrad circle from the star, bright, large, the dumbbell shape is quite clear, a fainter outer halo forms a more circular shape around the north-south aligned inner region, no color noted, no central star

Andrew Cooper
Oct 27, 2006    Waimea, HI (map)
12x36 Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars

Bright, good sized, roughly round, with a hint of the namesake dumbbell two lobed shape, no color noted

William Herschel
Sep 30, 1782    19 New King Street, Bath (map)
45cm f/12.8 Herschelian speculum

My sister discovered this nebula this evening in sweeping for comets; on comparing its place with Messier's nebulae we find it is his 27. It is very curious with a compound piece; the shape of it though oval as M. calls it, is rather divided in two; it is situated among a number of small stars, but with this compound piece no star is visible in it. I can only make it bear 278. It vanishes with higher powers on account of its feeble light. With 278 the division between the two patches is stronger, because the intermediate faint light vanishes more.

Charles Messier
Jul 12, 1764    

Nebula without star, discovered in Vulpecula, between the two forepaws, & very near the star 14 of that constellation, of 5th magnitude according to Flamsteed; one can see it well with an ordinary telescope of 3.5-foot; it appears of oval shape, & it contains no star. M. Messier has reported its position on the chart of the Comet of 1779, which was engraved for the volume of the Academy of the same year. Observed again January 31, 1781. (diam. 4') "

- Connaissance des Temps, 1781

Rev. T.W. Webb
Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)
20cm Reflector

The 'Dumb Bell' Nebula, just visible with a 1¼-in, finder. In a rich field we find two oval hazy masses in contact, of which p seems to me the brighter, as it did to H. His reflector failed to resolve it, but showed the dark notches (which, as Darby remarks, are usually represented two deep) filled and made protuberant by faint luminosity, converting the whole figure into an ellipse. The Earl of Rosse's 3-ft. speculum was though to reach its starry components: his 6-ft. surrounds it with an external ring having a neck like a retort. Bond's achr. also seemed to resolve it, but there, as in D'A.'s figure, the form shown in small instruments is lost. The minute stars in it, of which I have picked out two or three with 5½-in. achr, and 8-in silvered glass, and Denning sees 7 with 10-in. spec., are admirable test for superior telescopes. Ingall has claimed 18 with 5½ dialyte, from keenness or vision, and Se. has drawn many more. They seem, however, to be merely part of the host of the Galaxy; for Huggins finds there, by simultaneous comparison, nothing but luminous gas. A star in the centre, 13 mg., but on photos 11.7 mg., is probably the nucleus.

- Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917
Other Data Sources for M27
Nearby objects for M27
Acknowledgements and Credits...

Drawings, descriptions and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

Positional and some physical information is from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Additional object data from the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France.

The Digitized Sky Survey was produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute under U.S. Government grant NAG W-2166. The images of these surveys are based on photographic data obtained using the Oschin Schmidt Telescope on Palomar Mountain and the UK Schmidt Telescope.

Dark nebulae data from E.E. Barnard, A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way. Ed. Edwin B. Frost and Mary R. Calvert. Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1927

Object descriptions of Rev. Webb from Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes sixth edition, Rev. T.W. Webb, 1917, edited by Rev T.E.Espin.

NGC & IC object notes from Harold Corwin licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Additional supplementary material for NGC and IC catalog objects from Courtney Seligman with non-commercial use allowed, found at https://cseligman.com