Return to an old Favourite

I thought I would get back to doing some Astrophotography as I haven’t done any for a few years, so I have signed upto an Open University short course on using remote photographic telescopes. In the meantime, I went back to one of my old sites – b the NASA Harvard public telescope and one of my favourite targets the Ring Nebula.

I tried a few different settings and this was the best photo I got.

The Ring Nebula (aka Messier 57 or NGC6720) is a planetary nebula found in the constellation Lyra. It is caused by a shell of ionised gas, which has been expelled from a red giant star in the process of turning into a white dwarf. The inner ring gives a blue-green hue, whilst the outer rings give a reddish hue, something which can just be seen in the close-up photos. The nebula is 2300 light-years from Earth and measurements have shown that the gas ring is expanding all way from the central star.

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