Alt. Designations: NGC 6853, Dumbbell Nebula
Object Type: Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Vulpecula
Distance: 1.25 kly
Right Ascension: 19h 59m 36.3s
Declination: +22° 43´ 18"
Visual Magnitude: 8.1
Apparent Dimension: 6.7´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Jul

Commonly known as the Dumbbell Nebula, M27 was the first planetary nebula to be discovered. It is a shell of gas that was expelled from the nebula's central star. This object gets the name "dumbbell" from its hourglass, or dumbbell-like shape. Its distance is estimated to be about 1,250 light-years from Earth. A 13th magnitude star at the center of the nebula illuminates it from within. M27 is the brightest and most impressive object of its kind, and with a magnitude of 8.1 can be easily seen using any optical instrument.