The Ring Nebula
Messier Catalogue: M 57
Constellation: Lyra

The bright planetary nebula M57 not too far away from summer milky way regions is a tiny, but considerably bright show case for this type of objects. It is the outer shell of a star's atmosphere blown into space when the end of the star's life time has come. In that stage, the star may excite the gas shell in coaxial patterns, so that's why more exotic shapes of planetary nebulae (resembling butterflies, dumbells, etc.) are not unusual. The central star is easily visible in the middle of the nebula. The second one within the ring is just a background star only apparently embedded.

The night was full of clouds, bad seeing kept my mount busy in correcting for the wobbling guide star. However, as this is my first picture of the fuzzy spot that fuelled my enthusiasm for astronomy when I observed through my 4 1/2" scope when I still went to school, I decided to keep it.

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