The Dumbbell Nebula was catalogued by Charles Messier as M27 in 1764. It was the first of the Planetary Nebula ever discovered.
It is located in the Vulpecula constellation and lies at 1300 light years. It is a good target for beginners on astrophotography because it delivers good images even with short exposure times.
The nebula has been created by a dying star which expeled a shell of gas a few thousand years ago. It also emits highly energetic radiation which excites the gas around the star and lights up the nebula. Long exposure images show a complex structure with a blueish star just in the center of the nebula
Optics: Ritchie-Chretien GSO RC10 f/8 scope
Camera: SBIG STL-6303
Ha, L bands in 1x1 binning