Little Dumbbell Nebula
Sig13 015

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Hora (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Observation • October 28th, 2013 • sig13-015


This planetary nebula, known as NGC 650 or the Little Dumbbell, is about 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Perseus constellation. Unlike the other spherical nebulas, it has a bipolar or butterfly shape due to a "waist," or disk, of thick material, running from lower left to upper right. Fast winds blow material away from the star, above and below this dusty disk. The ghoulish green and red clouds are from glowing hydrogen molecules, with the green area being hotter than the red.

In this image, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 microns is rendered in blue, 4.5 microns in green, and 8.0 microns in red.

About the Object

Little Dumbbell NebulaMessier 76M76NGC 650
Nebula > Type > Planetary
2,500 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer MIPS


Position ()
RA =1h 42m 19.4s
Dec = 51° 34' 36.1"
Field of View
5.1 x 5.1 arcminutes
North is 82.7° right of vertical