Messier 57 (M 57)

Introduction | Map | Sketch | My Own Observations | My Own Photos | References

On this page I collect my observations of the planetary nebula M 57, called Ring Nebula, in the constellation Lyra.



The Ringnebel M 57 in the constellation Lyra is a planetary nebula and in interesting observation object, because, under favorable conditions, you may be able to recognize a ring structure. However, I only saw the ring really well at the observatory in Betz, France with a larger telescope.

Size: 1.2' (Stoyan)
Distance: 1,800 light years (Stoyan)
Rating: **** (Stoyan).

Observation Notes from Wikipedia (English/German Version)

English version: The nebula disk has an angular size of 1.5 × 1 arcminutes, making it too small to be resolved with 10×50 binoculars. It is best observed using a telescope with an aperture of at least 20 cm (8 in), but even a 7.5 cm (3 in) telescope will reveal its elliptical ring shape. The interior hole can be resolved by a 10 cm (4 in) instrument at a magnification of 100×. Larger instruments will show a few darker zones on the eastern and western edges of the ring, and some faint nebulosity inside the disk. The central star, at magnitude 14.8, is difficult to spot. (Von: Ring Nebula (Wikipedia))

German Version (translated): M 57 can already be perceived as a foggy "smoke ring" in a small telescope from 10 cm aperture. It is, however, relatively small, so that higher magnifications (> 100) are indicated. In telescopes with an aperture of more than 20 cm, structures in the ring become visible at higher magnifications. The central star, however, is extremely faint, havin an apparent brightness of 15.8 m. To observe it, you need a telescope of at least 25 cm aperture. (From: Ringnebel (Wikipedia))



M 57 in Lyra, M 56 is nearby, double star Albireo, too, and the two Hercules clusters M 13 and M 92 are not too far away...



The sketch by Michael Vlasov ( provides a rough impression of what I observed: Sketch of M 57 (Ring Nebula) by Michael Vlasov (Copyright © Michael Vlasov 2016)

Note: I only have the author's permission to link to the sketch.


My Own Observations

Observations Summer to Autumn 2016

Note: Observation by someone else: At around 100 x you should see that it's a ring, if the sky is truly dark it should be very obvious.

Observations August 2018

Observations September - November 2018


My Own Photos

Atik Infinity & Heritage 100P (November 29, 2017)


M 57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra), unprocessed


M 57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra), post-processed

Atik Infinity & Heritage 100P (December 7, 2017)

With Barlow Lens (2 x)


M 57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra), unprocessed


Ditto, post-processed


Ditto, more "aggressively" post-processed

With Focal Extender (2 x)


M 57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra), unprocessed


Ditto, post-processed


Ditto, more "aggressively" post-processed

Atik Infinity & Explorer 150PDS (December 31, 2017)


M 57 (Ringnebel in Lyra), unprocessed


Ditto, post-processed


Ditto, post-processed (16 bits)



On this Site