Little Dumbbell Nebula (WFC3 Image)

 Little Dumbbell Nebula (WFC3 Image)

In celebration of the 34th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s legendary Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers took a snapshot of the Little Dumbbell Nebula, also known as Messier 76, or M76, located 3,400 light-years away in the northern circumpolar constellation Perseus. The name 'Little Dumbbell' comes from its shape that is a two-lobed structure of colorful, mottled, glowing gases resembling a balloon that’s been pinched around a middle waist. Like an inflating balloon, the lobes are expanding into space from a dying star seen as a white dot in the center. Blistering ultraviolet radiation from the super-hot star is causing the gases to glow. The red color is from nitrogen, and blue is from oxygen.




About The Object
Object Name Little Dumbbell Nebula, M76
Object Description Planetary Nebula
R.A. Position 01:42:12

Dec. Position +51:34:56
Constellation Perseus
Distance 3,400 light-years
Dimensions Image is about 5 arcminutes across (about 5 light-years)
About The Data
Data Description The HST observations include those from program (C. Britt). Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
Instrument WFC3/UVIS
Exposure Dates 21 Jan - 23 Jan 2024  
Filters F475W, F502N, F656N, F658N, F814W
About The Image
Color Info These images are a composite of separate exposures acquired by the WFC3/UVIS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope. Several filters were used to sample various wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic (grayscale) image associated with an individual filter. In this case, the assigned colors are: Cyan= F475W, Blue= F502N, Green= F656N, Red= F658N, Orange= F814W
Compass Image Taking up most of the image, is a multi-colored nebula appearing as two translucent orbs attached by a white band.
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.