This large planetary nebula is the type of nebula our sun will form as it ends its life. Visible in the center of the nebula is the white dwarf, the remains of an ancient star that formed the nebula. This image clearly displays the extensive outer envelope which is rarely visible in photographs. Eight hours of exposure through a hydrogen alpha filter were necessary to record the extensive outer envelope.
Image Copyright © Robert Gendler.
Also see Wikipedia Article
on the Dumbbell Nebula.