Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Exposures: RGB 57/51/56 x 2m = 5hr 28m
Processing: SGP, MaximDL, Gimp
Messier 57, the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula located in the constellation Lyra.
The nebula is a cloud of glowing gas and is the leftover debris of an exploded star. The nebula is actually a bubble, but only along the edges is it thick enough for use to see. This causes the bubble to appear as a ring in space when we look at it. The star in the very center of the nebula is the remaining core of the original star that exploded.
This was initially a test image used to evaluate the CFF132 refractor I had obtained several months before. The image was taken from my usual testing spot in the back yard. The initial test looked really good so I gathered more data for another two nights. The total integration time ended up being almost 5 and a half hours.
The Ring Nebula is one of my favorite test targets. Its bright, easy to find and overhead for a good part of the year. It also looks really nice.