Alt. Designations: NGC 650, NGC 651
Object Type: Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Perseus
Distance: 3.4 kly
Right Ascension: 01h 42m 18.1s
Declination: +51° 34´ 17"
Visual Magnitude: 12
Apparent Dimension: 3.12´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Nov

Located in the constellation of Perseus is a faint planetary nebula known as M76. This nebula is also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula. Other names that have been given to this object include Cork Nebula, Butterfly Nebula, and Barbell Nebula. At magnitude 10.1 it is one of the fainter of the Messier objects. The appearance of this nebula is very similar to that of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. As with most planetary nebulae, its distance it not very well known. Best estimates put it at between 1,700 and 15,000 light-years from Earth. It takes a good telescope to be able to see any amount of detail on this object.  It was originally thought to consist of two separate emission nebulae and was thus given two catalog numbers, NGC 650 and 651. Some consider this object to be one of the faintest and hardest to see objects in Messier's list.