The text and images in this article were originally published on January 6, 1999, and reflect information about the Ring Nebula available at that time.
Looking Down a Tunnel of Gas at a Doomed Star
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest view yet of M57, the Ring Nebula in Lyra, which is the most famous of all planetary nebulae. In this image, the telescope has looked down a tunnel of gas cast off by a dying star thousands of years ago. This photo reveals elongated dark clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula, and the dying central star floating in a blue haze of hot gas. The nebula is about a light-year in diameter, and is located some 2,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Lyra. The colors are approximately true colors, and represent three different chemical elements: helium (blue), oxygen (green), and nitrogen (red).
Featured Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Fast Facts about the Ring Nebula
About this Object
Object Name:Messier 57 • M57 • The Ring Nebula • NGC 6720Position (J2000):R.A. 18h 53m 35s Dec. 33° 01′ 43″ Constellation:LyraTotal Visual Magnitude:9.7 ...