Burnham describes M27 as "..most
conspicuous planetary nebula in the entire sky for small instruments...".
M27 (the Dumbbell nebula) is expanding at a rate of 17 miles per second, is
approximately 48,000 years old. M27 has a probable distance of 850 light
years and spans approximately 2.5 light
Images of sufficient exposure length show extended fragmented shells from previous eruptions of the central star. In addition to the shells there are two optical jets extending from the axis of the nebula, these jets were first discovered by Moreno (1959) and are visible in the above (albeit faintly) .