M 76 (Little Dumbbell Nebula)


The Little Dumbbell Nebula (M 76) is certainly one of the best known objects in the autumn skies. The central bar is bright enough to be easily seen through mid-sized telescopes even under lightened skies. The central star is a close (optical) double-star with a distance of only about 1.4 arcsecs, although in fact the fainter component is really behind the nebula, so this pair is not a physical double-star.