Astronomy Picture of the Day

Ringed Nebulae

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#77304 by @ 24.07.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Ringed Nebulae


This gorgeous
celestial vista
is centered on one of the Milky Way's own
, M57, the famous
Ring Nebula.

The wide view is a composite of three exposures; one
to record the details of the inner roughly one
light-year span of the familiar nebula,
one to record the surprisingly intricate but
faint outer rings of
glowing hydrogen gas, and
one to pick up the rich assortment of distant background galaxies.

By chance, one of the background galaxies,
IC 1296 at the upper left, is close
enough to show its barred, spiral structure making an attractive
visual comparison with M57.

Interestingly, though IC 1296 is 200 million light-years away
compared to only 2 thousand light-years for M57,
a faint ring is also apparent around the outer reaches
of the distant spiral galaxy.

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