M57, Ring Nebula

M57, the Ring Nebula, a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra. The ring is an expanding cloud of gas blown off a central red giant star, which cannot be seen in this image. It’s about 5,000 light years distant.

This isn’t a great image. I didn’t have my scope aligned well and there was considerable star trailing. Seeing wasn’t great that night and there was considerable light from a first quarter moon. I’ll have to shoot M57 again with better alignment and conditions.

Shot 26 August 2009; Mt. Tamalpais State Park, California; ISO 800, Exp 60 min, 30 sec (13 x 2.5 minutes, 14 x 2.0 minutes), f/5.2, Canon EOS 5D & Televue NP127is. Post-processing with ImagesPlus 3.0 and Photoshop CS4.

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