Messier 57 is a planetary nebula located in the constellation of Lyra. Often referred to as the Ring nebula as it resembles a small ring visually in a telescope. A planetary nebula is formed when a star in the latter stages of its life swells up into a red giant phase and the outer layers are expelled into the surrounding space as the star contracts down to a white dwarf. The ionizing radiation causes the surrounding gas to fluoresce.
Independently discovered by Charles Messier and Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in January 1779.
Imaged with the ES127 refractor and the Atik314L+ mono camera.
Also visible in this highly stretched version are several background galaxies.