OBJECT = M57
TELESCOPE = 17.5 inch f4.5
CAMERA = ST7-E 
OBSERVER = Rusty Fletcher 
LOCATION = Seguin Outdoor Learning Center 
DATE (Yr-Mo-Dy) = 2004-04-01
TIME (UT) = 09:59:06
TOTAL EXPOSURE = 320 sec
IMAGES STACKED = 16

Planetary Nebula M57 (NGC 6720) 

The famous ring nebula M57 is often regarded as the prototype of a planetary nebula, and a showpiece in the northern hemisphere summer sky. Recent research has confirmed that it is, most probably, actually a ring of bright light-emitting material surrounding its central star, and not a spherical (or ellipsoidal) shell. Viewed from a different angle it would thus more resemble the Dumbbell Nebula M27. We happen to view it from near one pole which makes it appear as a ring.

As for most planetry nebulae, the distance to the Ring Nebula M57 is not very well known. In case of this nebula, however, an attempt was made to relate its angular expansion rate of roughly 1 arc second per century with its radial expansion velocity. 

Right ascension 18 : 51.7 (hours : minutes)
Declination +32 : 58 (degrees : minutes)
Distance 4,000 light years
Visual magnitude 9.3



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