M57 = NGC6720 ( 18h 53.6m +3303, 9.0 mag. )

Ring Nebula in Lyra was discovered by Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779 and Messier observed it on January 31, 1779. This annular planetary nebula is approx. 1,100 ly distant and 0.4 ly across. Gases in the nebula are excited by extremely hot (100,000K) central star which shed its outer layers about 20,000 years ago. To locate M57, look in between g Lyrae and b Lyrae (see finder chart below).

The above image was taken on October 30, 2000 from Harrowsmith, Ontario. Cookbook 245LDC CCD camera was used on 8 inch SCT at f20 achieved with eyepiece projection. Fifty nine white images (30 sec. each) were combined with 3 x 30 sec. exposures taken through each of cyan, magenta and yellow filters. AIP4WIN was used for processing and color image was adjusted with Corel PhotoPaint in Lab color space.

North is to the right.

Wide field image of M57 below was taken on June 20, 1998 from Sooke, BC. Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera was used on Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on a piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. It is composed of white exposures (6 x 120 sec.) as well as cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered integrations (3 x 120 sec. each) processed with AIP4WIN. Color image was then adjusted with Corel PhotoPaint in Lab color space.

Mag. 15.3 spiral galaxy IC1296 is visible NW of M57. North is to the right.

Map created in Guide 7.0 - 745' x 10. North is up.

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Jan Wisniewski