Messier 57 also known as the Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra.

This type of nebula is formed when a shell of ionized gas in expelled by a red giant star when it is passing through the final stage in becoming a white dwarf.

The nebula was discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier in January 1779.

The nebula lies at a distance of 2300 light-years and is an easy target in a moderately sized telescope.

Previous/older images:

Image data

Name M57 – The Ring Nebula
Type Planetary nebula
Constellation Lyra
Right ascension 18h 53m 35s
Declination +33° 01′ 45″
Distance 2.300 ly
Other designations NGC 6720