M27 (the Dumbbell Nebula)

Additional Image Credit: Mark E. Peter

Last night I went to the Columbus Astronomical Society’s observing site, Grieser field. This was my first time visiting the site and my first time using my first ever astrophotography telescope. (Thank you Joe for lending me the 8” edge for so long!)

I had low expectations because astrophotography is difficult, especially when working with unfamiliar equipment.

Surprisingly, I was able to get all of my equipment set up and working together, and even managed to image a deep sky object!

M27 is a planetary nebula located over 1200 light years from earth. M27 was the first planetary nebula ever discovered. It was found in 1764 by Charles Messier, a comet hunter from France who kept a catalog of objects that were not comets and therefore were of no interest to his search. This later became known as the Messier catalog and hosts some of the most interesting objects to view in the night sky.