Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Ring Nebula in Lyra

I managed to partially solve the issue with the azimutal drive of the ETX. This is enough for the GOTO  (which is great for locating objects) but it doesn't work for long exposures. I need to think my next move with this drive...

This time I tried one of the most known object in the sky, the Ring Nebula in the constellation of Lyra. Also known as Messier 57, M57 or NGC 6720 is a planetary nebula created when a shell of ionized gas was expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a red giant star passing through the last stage in its evolution to become a white dwarf.

This object is located at 2,300 ly from earth and a size of 1,5 x 1 arcminutes in the sky making it almost impossible to see with a 10x50 binoculars requiring a telescope of 20 cm (8in) at least. This makes even more awesome that with my small ETX I was able to shot this image.

The shot is composed by 40 x 2 seconds exposure 10 darks and 10 bias.

I was also amazed that the image resolves the double star in ß-lyrae also know as Sheliak.

Enjoy.


A great discovery is astrometry.net which allows you to upload the images and it automatically annotates the obects and stars pictured.