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It is interesting that it was originally called the “Dumbbell Nebula”, but when telescopes and astrophotography produced more detail, it took the nickname “Apple Core Nebula”, because the faint inner core is surrounded by a fainter red sphere, like the skin of an apple.

In this latest photo, you can see the very faint lines of the apple’s red skin surrounding the core.


“This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. At its brightness of visual magnitude 7.5 and its diameter of about 8 arcminutes, it is easily visible in binoculars, and a popular observing target in amateur telescopes.”