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Deep Sky Nebula

The Ring Nebula (M57)

After a pretty fruitless evening trying to image Venus with the webcam on the club Celestron 9.25″ I fitted the Canon 350D instead and took this picture of the Ring Nebula in Lyra.

Not a good image as it’s out of focus and the stars have trailed slightly, but it’s still an amazing sight. This is the result of a single 60 second exposure.

M57 has a white dwarf star at the centre which has shed it’s outer layers towards the end of it’s life, forming a Planetary Nebula. Despite the name, these have nothing to do with planets, the term was coined by William Herschel in 1785 as in his telescopes they looked like small faint disks of light.

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