The Ring Nebula Revealed in Photos (Gallery)

Hubble Reveals the Ring Nebula's True Shape

NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)

In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula. Called a planetary nebula, the Ring Nebula is the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. The object is tilted toward Earth so that astronomers see the ring face-on. The Hubble observations reveal that the nebula's shape is more complicated than astronomers thought. Image released May 23, 2013.

Compass and Scale Image for Ring Nebula (HST and LBT)

NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula. Compass and scale provided. Image released May 23, 2013.

Mapping the Ring Nebula's Structure

NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

This illustration depicts a sideways view of the Ring Nebula, as deduced by astronomers using new Hubble observations. The doughnut-shaped feature in the center of the graphic is the main ring. The lobes above and below the ring comprise a football-shaped structure that pierces the ring. Dense knots of gas are embedded along the ring's inner rim. Image released May 23, 2013.

Hubble Captures a Ring

NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

This close-up, visible-light view by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals new details of the Ring Nebula. The object is tilted toward Earth so that astronomers see the ring face-on. The Hubble observations reveal that the nebula's shape is more complicated than astronomers thought. The blue gas in the nebula's center is actually a football-shaped structure that pierces the red doughnut-shaped material. Image released May 23, 2013.

Compass and Scale Image for Ring Nebula (HST only)

NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

This close-up, visible-light view by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals new details of the Ring Nebula. Compass and scale provided. Image released May 23, 2013.

Ring Nebula

Bob and Janice Fera

The Ring Nebula in Lyra lies 2,300 light years from Earth. It is estimated to have been expanding for about 1,600 years.

Ring Nebula

AURA/STScI/NASA)

The Ring Nebula.

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