Three Faces of the Ring Nebula M57

[M57, normal exposure, G. Jacoby] [PNG]

This is what we usually see in pictures of the Ring Nebula

[M57, deeper exposure, G. Jacoby] [PNG]

Deeper exposures reveal loops and filaments just outside the "ring" of the Ring Nebula.

[M57, very deep exposure, G. Jacoby] [PNG]

Very deep exposures show that the Ring Nebula and its loops are surrounded by a nearly perfectly circular halo of glowing material.

All 3 of these images are taken from a single CCD exposure, but displayed at 3 different contrast levels. All have the same identical scale, so you can see the small size of the piece we normally think of as "The Ring".

[M57, contrast enhanced negative, G. Jacoby] [PNG]

[M57, contrast enhanced positive, G. Jacoby] [PNG]

The same CCD image as above, processed to show the full extension and contrast range of the Ring nebula, as negative and positive image.

Credit: George Jacoby, KPNO

Look at George Jacoby's Planetary Nebula gallery

  • HST image of M57
  • WIYN images of M57
  • Lowell 1.1-m images of M57 (Bill Keel)
  • More images of M57
  • Amateur images of M57, more amateur images
    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: February 2, 1998