Flintstone Stargazing

August 31, 2008

M27-Dumbbell Nebula on 8/30/08

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Messier Objects, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 1:03 am

Tonight I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of things – computer control of the scope, a couple new alignment methods – and so I haven’t been doing a whole lot of imaging. I’ve really just been figuring things out. But, the sky has been pretty good so I decided to get a good image of the dumbbell nebula. I think I’m happier with this version than any of my others. Part of it is the sharp focus, but also the alignment was pretty good tonight. Anyway, you can see a bit of the “knots” that are found in this nebula.



  1. 8/30/08
    We live in eastern Iowa. Tonight my kids saw a light in the western sky that was flickering.
    It was lower than the rest of the stars, but not close to the horizon. Through binoculars it appeared to
    pulse red, white, & bluish green. We could tell it wasn’t aircraft, so I drove about 6 miles out of town
    to get a better view in the country. In the space of about 45 minutes it got further away, I’m assuming
    from the Earth’s rotation. Do you have an idea what we were seeing? Should we be able to see it again
    tomorrow? Thank you. Ken S.

    Comment by Ken — August 31, 2008 @ 2:08 am

  2. Hmmm. Lights in the sky are often difficult to figure out if you can’t get a good look. I’m going to hazard a guess that it was in the south? if it was and was relatively low on the horizon, I’m going to guess it’s Jupiter. Particularly from northern latitudes, Jupiter would be reasonably low on the horizon (I’m in Georgia, so it’s a bit higher). Through a thick atmosphere (which is what you have the closer to the horizon you get), bright objects can flicker through all sorts of colors as the light is refracted and bent by air temperature differences. Take a look again tonight and if it’s in the South East and the brightest thing in that part of the sky, then that’s Jupiter.

    Comment by Ed — August 31, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  3. Beautiful shot. I shoot widefield, so I’ll never catch it like you have here; doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you’ve done, though. 🙂

    Going to have some new gear, probably in October… hope to do better then. Faster system, little bit higher gain lens. EOS 50D, good to ISO 12600, gains me a few stops on lenses that were otherwise too slow to use.

    Here’s the dumbbell nebula through an 85mm lens @ ten MP:

    Dumbbell Nebula - bare camera. :-)

    Comment by fyngyrz — September 1, 2008 @ 1:46 am

  4. That’s great. There’s a lot to be said for widefield shots – I am hoping to do more of that myself. I made a mount for my D50 that attaches to my tripod weight bar so that I can track some widefield shots. It’s always neat to see objects in context.

    Comment by Ed — September 1, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

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