An apple a day..
The Messier 27 is the first target for my new telescope and also the first image of the 2023 – 2024 imaging season! Also known as the apple core nebula this planetary nebula lies in the constellation of Vulpecula at a distance of 1360 light-years. The bright core of the nebula is an easy target for even smaller telescopes but the faint halo of ionized hydrogen and oxygen is far from that – only revealing itself to long exposure times under dark skies. Like many planetary nebulae, the Messier 27 contains “knots”, displaying a distinctive arrangement of shadowed and illuminated pointed clusters, accompanied by corresponding dark extensions. These clusters exhibit diverse forms, ranging from balanced entities with tails to more irregular forms. Much like the Helix Nebula and the Eskimo Nebula, the prominent tips of these clusters possess brilliant points that serve as localized fronts of photo-ionization.