The famous ring nebula M57 is often regarded as the prototype of a planetary nebula, and a showpiece in the northern hemisphere summer sky. Recent research has confirmed that it is, most probably, actually a ring (torus) of bright material surrounding its central star, and not a spherical (or ellipsoidal) shell. Viewed from this plane, it would thus more resemble the Dumbbell Nebula M27 than its current appearance from here: We happen to view it from near one pole.
More images of M57
Bill Arnett's Ring Nebula M57 photo page, info page.
|Right ascension||18 : 51.7 (hours : minutes)|
|Declination||+32 : 58 (degrees : minutes)|