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M57  (NGC 6720),  The  Ring  Nebula, 

in  Lyra

M57 is one of the most famous of the planetary nebulae,  the illuminated gases thrown off by a degenerating star. To the observer's eye, the nebula has the appearance of a perfect silvery-gray smoke ring, but to an imaging device, it has wonderful color and distinct internal structure. At its distance of 4100 light years, M57 is a very small  target and it requires a long focal length telescope and steady seeing to capture any detail. The 2815 mm focal length of the RC scope used here is more than adequate, but the seeing conditions were not ideal 

 Date  2002-06-30
 Optics

 RCOS  12.5 inch RC at f/9 with  ST-10 XME/CFW-8a on an  A-P 1200 GTO mount. 

 Guided with ST-10 internal guide chip.  

 Exposure

  RGB: 5 x 5 minute each, unbinned frames, SBIG filters.

 Processing  

 Calibrated and combined in MaxIm 3.07. Colors combined to RGB (1:1:1.3)  in MaxIm.  RGB  levels    

  adjusted, and dust & scratches filter,  mild unsharp mask,  and mild blur applied  in Photoshop 6.    

 

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