Milwaukee Astronomical Society


My Journeys in Astronomy - Messier 27 (Dumbbell Nebula) on G-Scope

William Gottmoller

Hello fellow MAS members,"

Almost a year ago, I joined the Milwaukee Astronomical Society, a club I intended to join since 6th grade (4-5 years ago). My grandfather, Bill Collins, was the President of the club from 1969-1973, and his passion for astronomy passed down to me; however, I did not join the club until last September.

When I first joined, I sent a message to the Google Group asking about modified cameras. Through that message, I spoke to MAS members for the first time. A week later, a clear Saturday night inspired me to travel to the observatory with my parents. There, I met Lee Keith, Jeff Kraehnke, and Tamas, Agnes. Taking my first tour, I was shocked; never before had I seen such an incredible observatory.

M27 taken on B-Scope. William Gottemoller.I was very inclined to use the telescopes, so I asked Jeff if I could learn how to use one. With a clear October Saturday night, free time for a keyholder is impossible. Thus, I was unable to learn a scope that night. The next day, however, Jeff emailed me, asking me if I wanted to learn B-scope. I, of course, accepted, and the next day, Monday, I went to the observatory to learn B-scope. That night, I imaged Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula, for around 30 minutes. The first telescope I learned at the Milwaukee Astronomical Society Observatory was B-scope; the first image I ever took through a telescope (not including handheld iPhone images) was of the Dumbbell Nebula.

I regard that Monday night in October as one of the best nights of my life. That night, I became convinced that a career and a life in astronomy were my destiny.

Consequently, I have a particular disposition toward the picture I took that night and the object I imaged. Recently, I learned a new scope: G-scope (thank you, Tamas and Agnes!). Finding a connection between learning B-scope and G-scope (and the fact that G- and B- are 2/3 of my favorite telescopes at the observatory), I decided to add sentiment: I would image the Dumbbell Nebula.

After erring several times, I finally was able to image. I took nine 20-minute exposures for a total of 180 minutes, or 3 hours, of integration. The filter I used was the Astrodon 3nm OIII filter.

M27 from G-Scope. William Gottemoller.


Updated M27 Image

Below is an updated image of M27 with the G-Scope. Images taken on the nights of Aug. 30, Sept. 3, Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Sept. 28, 2021. Exposure: 25x1200s H (8 hr 20 min H), 27x1200s OIII (9 hr OIII). Total Exposure: 52x1200s (1040 mins, or 17 hr 20 min).

M27 in G-Scope. HOO.