Messier 57 - NGC 6720

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Aladin viewer for the region around Messier 57
Ring Nebula
h 2023, GC 4447, PK 063+13 1, PK 63+13.1

Type  Planetary Nebula
Magnitude  9
Size  2.5' x 1.43' @ 90°
Right Ascension  18h 53' 35.0"  (2000)
Declination  33° 1' 45" N
Constellation  Lyra
Description  Ring neb, B, pL, cE
Classification  DA(O?)
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Aug 29, 2021    Waikoloa, HI (map)
28cm f/10 SCT, NexStar 11" GyPSy @ 175x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 6 Moon: 0%

A beautiful ghostly ring, bright and obvious, 1' diameter, mostly round if perhaps slightly elongated northeast-southwest, a well defined outer margin contrasts with the indistinct inner edge of the ring, the center is darker but still quite bright compared to the background sky, no central star or color noted, a 13th magnitude star 1' east

Andrew Cooper
Jun 23, 2020    Waikoloa, HI (map)
20cm f/6 Newtonian, Cave Astrola @ 61x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 6 Moon: 0%

A bright ring with a well defined outer edge and a soft darker center, small, slightly oval with the major axis southwest to northeast, no color noted, no central star

Andrew Cooper
Oct 22, 2016    Kaʻohe, Mauna Kea, HI (map)
51cm f/4 Newtonian, Obsession #004 @ 169x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 6 Moon: 0%

A beautiful ring of light amongst the stars, bright and easy to find, a distinct thick ring, no central star visible, a very faint hint of green, elongated slightly northeast to southwest, with the northeastern and southwestern edges less distinct, the nebula sits in an odd void of stars in an otherwise rich starfield, a very faint clump about 5' northeast and a 13th magnitude star just off the eastern edge

Andrew Cooper
Oct 21, 2006    TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
12x36 Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars

Difficult but certain when found, small, quite dim, a star that will not focus, halfway between Beta Lyrae and Gamma Lyrae

Andrew Cooper
Aug 27, 2005    TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
46cm f/4.5 Deep Violet

Attempted to see the central star with the 18"" and a 4.8mm eyepiece, no go! Carter said he could see it (young eyes!!) no one else could, nice view of the nebula however, stands up to magnification very well, oval, center much darker inside a thick ring with a well defined inner and outer edge, center still much brighter than surrounding background, slightly greenish

Andrew Cooper
Jun 17, 1998    Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (map)
20cm f/10 SCT

The cold front that passed through last night left an extremely dark background, center star not visible

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)
94mm f/18 Tully Achromat

The only annular nebula accessible by common telescopes, fortunately easily found, 1/3 the distance from Beta towards γ. It is somewhat oval, and bears magnifying well. Its light I have often imagined fluctuating and unsteady, like that of some other planetary nebula; an illusion arising probably from an aperture to small for the object. Lick photo. gives the impression of several rings intertwined, and Wolf finds rings of different diameters and shapes for the different monochromatic radiations. There is a small star at centre which is very conspicuous as about 12.5 mg. on all photographs but visually very faint (Barnard 15.5 mg.). and still a fainter one at P. 301° about 6"" from nucleus. Huggins first found the spectrum gaseous. A minute star f; h., 11 mg.; Barnard, mg. 12.4: P 87°.8, D. 61"".7; D'A., certainly only 14, 1861. Yet Sa. caught it with 3-in. achr. '74. 34sec p, 12' n, is the var. RX.: 12-17: 247d. Dis. by Silbernagel.
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

Charles Messier
Jul 24, 1778    

A cluster of light between Gamma & Beta Lyrae, discovered when looking for the Comet of 1779, which has passed it very close: it seems that this patch of light, which is round, must be composed of very small stars: with the best telescopes it is impossible to distinguish them; there stays only a suspicion that they are there. M. Messier reported this patch of light on the Chart of the Comet of 1779. M. Darquier, at Toulouse, discovered it when observing the same comet, and he reports: ""Nebula between gamma and beta Lyrae; it is very dull, but perfectly outlined; it is as large as Jupiter & resembles a planet which is fading""."
― Connaissance des Temps, 1781
Other Data Sources for Messier 57
Associated objects for Messier 57
Nearby objects for Messier 57
7 objects found within 60'
HD 175577 HD 176051 IC 1296
NGC 6713 Nu1 Lyrae
Sheliak
Credits...

Drawings, descriptions, and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

A complete list of credits and sources can be found on the about page

Messier 57