In the spirit of the upcoming March's Messier Marathon, take a gander at
Charles Messier's first planetary nebula as viewed from the Hubble Space
"The Dumbbell, a nearby planetary nebula residing more than 1,200
light-years away, is the result of an old star that has shed its outer
layers in a glowing display of color. The nebula, also known as Messier 27
(M27), was the first planetary nebula ever discovered. French astronomer
Charles Messier spotted it in 1764."