AstroPhotography by Dan Richey

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The Ring Nebula (also catalogued as Messier 57, M57 or NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra. Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a red giant star, which was passing through the last stage in its evolution before becoming a white dwarf. This nebula was discovered by the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in January 1779, who reported that it was " large as Jupiter and resembles a planet which is fading." Later the same month, fellow French astronomer Charles Messier independently found the same nebula while searching for comets. It was then entered into his catalogue as the 57th object. Messier and German-born astronomer William Herschel speculated that the nebula was formed by multiple faint stars that were unresolvable with his telescope.

Object Information

Name M57
Type Planetary Nebula
Constellation Lyra
Catalogue NGC 6720

Acquisition / Processing

Exposure L - 15 x 600 sec Bin 1
RGB - 18 x 300 sec Bin 1

Total - 7.00 Hr
Telescope AP 160 - 2X @ f15
Camera SBIG STT-8300
Camera Temp -35ÂșC
Guiding SBIG SG4 / Baader
Mount AP 900GTO
Filters Astrodon-Gen 2 LRGB
Processing PixInsight
Location San Pedro Creek, NM
Date October 28, 2014

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