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Humason 1-2
Planetary Nebula
Baby Dumbell, PN G086.5-08.8, PK 086-08.1, ARO 89
Visual Magnitude: 12.7
Apparent Diameter: 32"
Magnitude of Central Star: 17.3
Distance: 9900 ly

Minimum requirements to view: 6-inch scope and dark sky


Humason 1-2 is a tiny, often overlooked planetary nebula in Cygnus that was discovered my Milton Humason in 1920. A six inch will show the nebula as a faint star that looks slightly non-stellar. Larger apertures and high magnifications are required for a detailed view. Look for two opposing lobes at high magnification.

In Summertime Planetaries Beyond the NGC (August 1999, Sky & Telescope) Jay McNeil describes this planetary as "Easily located just 3o east of the 4th-magnitude Sigma Cygni, Hu 1-2 appears virtually stellar at powers below 300x. However, it's identity becomes quite apparent when the field of view is blinked with a filter. Using a 10-inch telescope and magnifications approaching 400x, this object displays wonderful structure reminiscent of the Dumbbell Nebula."

Kent Wallace descibed it what he saw in an 8-inch f/10 SCT: "At 62.5X, can see directly as a star, requiring the O-III filter to identify it as a PN. Good response to the O-III & UHC filters. No response to the H-B filter. At 100X, no disk can be seen. There is a faint star just south and a bit east of the PN. At 200X, the PN is still stellar."

Mark Voil described it in a 17.5-inch scope: "Quite bright and can take lots of magnification. A perfect hour glass shape with well-defined edges. Slightly blue-gray in colour."


The view in a 6" at 50x. North is down, East is to the right.

This image is from the Digital Sky Survey.

Finder Chart for six-inch telescope (pdf)

Millennium Star Atlas Vol III Chart 1125
Sky Atlas 2000 Chart 9
Uranometria 2000 Vol I Chart 86