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Image Details: M057 & IC 1296

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M057 & IC 1296

Object/Name: M057 (NGC 6720, The Ring Nebula)
Type: Planetary Nebula   
Constellation: Lyra   
RA: 18 hours 53.7 minutes   
Dec: +33 degreees 02 minutes   
Distance: 1.1 - 2.3 million light years   
Magnitude: 8.8 mag   
Size: 76.0 x 76.0 arc minutes   
Imaging Dates: 15 - 18 August 2007   
Location: Blue Mountain Vista Observatory, New Ringgold, PA   
Scope: Meade LX-200R 12 inch Mount: Paramount ME
CCD: SBIG ST-8XME Filters: Custom Scientific
Filter Wheel: SBIG CFW-8A Focus: FLI DF2 Focuser
Rotator: Optec 2 inch Pyxis   
Software Used:
  Maxim DL FocusMax
CCDAutoPilot 3 CCDStack
Mira Pro PhotoShop CS3
Detailed Information:
M057 represents a collaboration of mine to process data acquired by Frank Colosimo. I will quote Frank on the details,
"This is one of the first images from my new roll off observatory in New Ringgold, PA. Thanks to Chris for his expert processing, which brought out the faint halo around this planetary nebula that we noticed when we started working with the images." I would add that this level of visibility around the Ring nebula is usually only seen with H-alpha exposures being combined.

M057 was observed on 31 January 1779. It is described in the NGC: "A magnificent object. Annular nebula, bright, pretty large, considerably extended, in Lyra." That pretty well sums it up. This object is located between Gamma and Beta Lyrae. Visually it appears like a grey smoke ring. On a video astronomical image my daughter described it as the "Cheerio nebula." Kids watch too many commercials these days! This is a planetary nebula in the form of a torus (doughnut shape) for which we are looking down the end or through the hole. This nebula was formed by central star which collapsed to form a White Dwarf star seen centrally in the image.

The small spiral galaxy located to the right and below M057 is IC 1296. It would normally not be so apparent, but I processed it to make it more evident because Frank had captured so much detail and it looked quite interesting. IC 1296

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