M 76 (NGC 650/651, PK 130-10.1) Planetary Nebula in Perseus

Located at: RA 01 hours 42 minutes 20 seconds, Dec +51 degrees 34 minutes 35 seconds

Size: 167" Magnitude: 12.2 photographic Class: 3+6

North is up

West to the right


14.5" f5 Newtonian reflector


 ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -20c & -25c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.56


Lumicon Red filter, 460 minutes (46 x 10 minute subs), 11/6/9/2012; seeing 3.1-3.8 FWHM per CCDStack


CCDStack 2.66.4490.32361, Photoshop CS5.1


 Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)

Notes: See the 8" version.

From the NGC / IC Project:

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 650

NGC 0650 = PK 130-10.1 = M76 = Little Dumbbell Nebula = PN G130.9-10.5
01 42 18.1 +51 34 16
V = 10.1;  Size 163"x107"

17.5": bright, fairly large, consists of two prominent irregular lobes with a 
darker center; the SW lobe is brighter with straight edges while the NE lobe has 
a slightly curved edge.  A mag 13.5 star is attached at the southern edge of the 
SW lobe.  Extending from the main body of this striking bipolar planetary is a 
large halo which contains two large outer arms or wings similar to a spiral 
galaxy!  The outer "arm" attached at the NE end is brighter and longer and 
curves to the west.  The southern extension is short, fainter, and less defined.

13": SW end is brighter while the NE end is slightly curved.  Boxy appearance 
with a dark center.

- by Steve Gottlieb
Historical Research Notes / Correction for NGC 650
NGC 650 and NGC 651 together form M76.  They are the two bright lobes of a 
bipolar planetary nebula.  (The fainter, wispy loops to the northwest and
southeast were most likely not seen well until M76 was photographed.)  For GC 
and NGC, JH and Dreyer took the lobes as two separate nebulae, put the Messier 
number on N650, and the WH number (I 193) on N651.

There is a little justification for this, but not very much.  WH was the first
to recognize that the nebula was apparently double.  He says of it "Two close 
together.  Both vB. dist. 2' sp nf.  One is 76 of the Conn[oissance des 
Temps]."  That, strictly speaking, is incorrect as neither Mechain nor Messier
reported the nebula as double.

Still, two NGC numbers it is for the single Messier number.  This has happened
at least once more.  See NGC 5194 and NGC 5195, the two galaxies comprising 
M51 -- though for that, Messier did see the two separate objects.
 - Dr. Harold G. Corwin, Jr.