Astrophotography by David Gares

Ring Nebula M57

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M57, the Ring Nebula, is one of the most well-known planetary nebula.  We see this nebula as a polar view (an equatorial view would look more like the Dumbbell Nebula).  The Ring Nebula appears quite small but it's relatively bright.  It can be seen under light-polluted skies.  Like most planetary nebulae, it responds exceptionally well to LPR filters; however these tend to dim the faint central star.  It takes a very large telescope to see the central star, but a CCD captures it easily even when filtered.  The image below was taken under the haziest conditions I've ever imaged (Polaris was not visible at all).
For more on planetary nebula, see Dumbbell Nebula M27.

 Ring Nebula M57
 (Click image to enlarge)


 Object Details:  
 Type:  Planetary Nebula
 Constellation:  Lyra
 Distance:  2300 light-years (?)
 Size:  0.9 light-years (?)

 Image Details:
 Date:  July 25, 2004
 Site:  Harahan, LA (hazy skies)
 Exposure:  CCD, 5 x 5 min.

 Filters:  Orion SkyGlow LPR
 Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
 Telescope:  10" Meade LX200
 Reducer:  Meade f/4.3
 CCD:  Starlight Express MX7C
 Autoguider:  S.T.A.R. 2000