The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Apple Core Nebula, Messier 27, M 27, or NGC 6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1,360 light years.
There are no stars brighter than 4th magnitude in this constellation. The brightest star in Vulpecula is ? Vulpeculae, a magnitude 4.44m red giant at a distance of 297 light-years.
Two well-known deep-sky objects can be found in Vulpecula. The Dumbbell Nebula (M27), is a large, bright planetary nebula which was discovered by the French astronomer Charles Messier in 1764 as the very first object of its kind. It can be seen with good binoculars in a dark sky location, appearing as a dimly glowing disk approximately 6 arcminutes in diameter. A telescope reveals its double-lobed shape, similar to that of an hourglass.