The Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula – M57 in the Messier Catalogue or NGC 6720 – is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Lyra.

The Ring Nebula (M57)
Hubble Space Telescope image of the Ring Nebula (M57) – a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra, formed from ionized gas expelled from a red giant star. The star, now a white dwarf, is visible at the centre. (Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration) – click to enlarge

The Ring Nebula is approximately 0.8 parsecs (around 2.6 light-years) across, and lies around 787 parsecs (2,567 light-years) from the Earth in the constellation of Vega (see Astronomical Distance Measurements).

Location of M57 The Ring Nebula
Star chart showing the location of M57, the Ring Nebula, in the constellation of Lyra, near to the bright star Vega, which can be easily located from the distinctive cross-shaped asterism in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan.

The equatorial coordinates of the Ring Nebula are:
Right Ascension:
18h 53m 35.079s,
+33° 01′ 45.03″

To find the Ring Nebula’s current position in the sky from your location, visit our Night Sky Simulator.

Astronomy, Cosmology, Space and Astrophysics