Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ring Nebula

M57, the Ring Nebula imaged on the 14 inch with a Canon XTi.  It is a stack of 6 30-second exposures. The central star is just visible in the ring. The nebula is not really a ring, but we are seeing it 'front on."  It is probably more like a cylinder.  The central star is reaching the end of its life, and this image may well be how our sun will look some billions of years from now as it enters the final stages of its life and puffs off its outer atmosphere.