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Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720) Facts and How to Find

Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720) Facts and How to Find Supernova Remnant in Lyra

Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720) is a supernova remnant object of interest in space. It lies at a distance of 1.6-3.8 kly light years away in the constellation of Lyra.

It is referred to as M(57) when it was catalogued by Charles Messier in 18th - 19th Century France. It is also referred to as NGC(6720) in the New General Catalogue. This is a list of deep space objects that was compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer in 1888 in an update to John Herschel earlier catalogue.

The Supernova Remnant's location is 18:53.6 (R.A.) and +33:02 (Dec.). Its Visual (Apparent) Brightness is 8.80 Magnitude with an apparent dimension of 1.4x1.0 . The object can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720) has a radius of 1 light years or to put it another way, it has a diameter of 3 light years. It would take a space ship 3 years travelling at the speed of light to get from one side to the other.

Ring nebula (M57,NGC6720) is a supernova remnant. It was discovered in 1779 by Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix. It's location is RA(18:53.6), Dec(+33:02) and its distance is calculated 1.6-3.8 light years away. Its visual Brightness is 8.8. Its apparent dimensions measured in arcmins is 1.4x1.0.

How to find and see the Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720)

The site assumes that you are viewing from London in the Northern Hemisphere and from Sydney in the Southern Hemisphere and are looking at the sky about 9 p.m. If you are looking at another time or location, you will need to adjust for your location.

Northern Hemisphere

The best time to see the Ring Nebula is from May when it is visible after 9 p.m. You can view it in the previous month but at a later time. The Ring Nebula is located not far off the horizon in a north easterly direction. As the months go on, the ring nebula will be higher in the sky. It will disappear out of view in December with the constellation following not far afterwards.

Southern Hemisphere

The Ring Nebula is visible after 9 p.m. in a north easterly direction. Unlike the northern hemisphere, the nebula will be higher in the sky than Vega, the brightest star in the constellation. The beginning of October will be the last time you will get to see the nebula before it disappears.

Fact File


NameRing Nebula (M57, NGC6720)
TypeSupernova Remnant
Messier Id57
NGC Id6720
ConstellationLyra
Right Ascension18:53.6
Declination+33:02
Distance (Lt.Yr)1.6-3.8 kly
Radius (Lt.Yr)1.30
Apparent Dimension1.4x1.0
Visual / Apparent Magnitude8.80
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Year of Discovery1779
DiscovererAntoine Darquier de Pellepoix
CoprightN.A.S.A, Hubble Site

Location of Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720) Facts and How to Find in Lyra


Ring Nebula (M57, NGC6720) Facts and How to Find Supernova Remnant in Lyra

The image above showing the location of the object was generated using the free application Stellarium.


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