M 57 – NGC 6720

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M57 is one of the three planetary nebulae in the Messier Catalogue. In spite of being dim (mag +8.8) and small (1.5×1.2 arcmin), its beauty has made it one of the most imaged objects of the Northern sky. Discovered in 1779, independently, within a few days difference, by de Pellepoix and Messier. The name “Planetary Nebula” was coined by Herschel who found it similar in size and shape to his newly discovered planet Uranus. These nebulae are one of the final stages in stellar evolution for a Sun-sozed star. One common treat is the presence of a central white dwarf, a planet-size star, very compact and hot with a surface temperature around 120,000K.

Additional Information


Name(s): M57. NGC 6720. Ring Nebula

Type: Planetary Nebula

RA:  18h 53m 35.1s

Dec: +33º 01’ 44.6”

Constellation: Lyra

Size (arcmin): 1.5×1.2

Magnitude: +8.8

Distance: 1,400 ly


Date: 2013-06-04

Location: Corbera de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia

Size (arcmin): 15×9

Telescope: Celestron 11” HD f/10

Camera: FLI ML6303 (3072x2048pix)

Guiding: Orion SSAG/Nikkor 500mm f/8

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