Planetary Nebula NGC 7027

NGC 7027
NGC 7027: Planetary nebula in Cygnus; 500 mm Cassegrain 3625 mm f/7.2; SBIG STL11K; 11+3*5 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik


NGC 7027 was discovered by French astronomer Édouard Stephan in 1878 and independently by British astronomer Thomas Webb on 14 November 1879. J. L. E. Dreyer described it in his «New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars» published in 1888 as a stellar-appearing planetary nebula of magnitude 8.5. [196]

Physical Properties

NGC 7027
NGC 7027: Image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. © ESA/Hubble & NASA [348]

NGC 7027 is an end-of-life star in transition to a planetary nebula. Most of the nuclear fuel has been used up. A combination of stellar pulsations and radiation pressure extruded the atmosphere and formed an extended envelope around the star. During this time, the star was losing material very rapidly. What remains is a very hot star with a surface temperature of over 200'000 K. It could also be a binary star system in a close orbit. The increase in ultraviolet radiation as the star heats up first breaks down the molecules in the shell and then ionizes the atoms that make them up. This transition phase is very short, maybe less than 1000 years. The distance to Earth is about 3000 light years. [347, 348]

«Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae» Acker et al., 1992 [141]
DesignationsPN G084.9-03.4: NGC 7027, PK 84-03.1, ARO 40, Sh 2-113, VV 261, VV' 543
Right Ascension (J2000.0)21h 07m 02s
Declination (J2000.0)+42° 14' 10"
Dimensions 14." (optical), 15." (radio)
Distance 0.94 kpc
Radial Velocity+8.8 km/s ± 0.6 km/s
Expansion Velocity 21.5 km/s (O-III), 23.5 km/s (N-II)
C-Star DesignationsAG +42 1976, AG82 421, BD +41 4004, GCRV 13282, HD 201272, PLX 5083, SAO 50463
C-Star Magnitude16.25 mag (V filter)
DiscovererWEBB 1879

Finder Chart

The planetary nebula NGC 7027 is located in the constellation Cygnus. The best observing time is April to November, when the PN is highest in the night sky.

Chart Planetary Nebula NGC 7027
Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 in constellation Cygnus. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


141Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae; A. Acker, F. Ochsenbein, B. Stenholm, R. Tylenda, J. Marcout, C. Schohn; European Southern Observatory; ISBN 3-923524-41-2 (1992); (2021-02-18)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
348NGC 7027: Like a Metallic Jewel Bug in the Sky; (2021-05-15)