Buy the Hubble Ring Nebula M57 space photo.
High quality Hubble picture, slide, or Duratrans backlit transparency. NASA photograph H99-01
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Click to see selection as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) - November 15, 2009
The NASA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest view yet of
the most famous of all planetary nebulae: the Ring Nebula (M57). In this
October 1998 image, the telescope has looked down a barrel of gas cast
off by a dying star thousands of years ago. This photo reveals elongated
dark clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula;
the dying central star floating in a blue haze of hot gas. The nebula is
about a light-year in diameter and is located some 2,000 light-years
from Earth in the direction of the constellation Lyra.
The colors are approximately true colors. The color image was assembled
from three black-and-white photos taken through different color filters
with the Hubble telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Blue isolates
emission from very hot helium, which is located primarily close to the
hot central star. Green represents ionized oxygen, which is located
farther from the star. Red shows ionized nitrogen, which is radiated
from the coolest gas, located farthest from the star. The gradations of
color illustrate how the gas glows because it is bathed in ultraviolet
radiation from the remnant central star, whose surface temperature is a
white-hot 216,000 degrees Fahrenheit (120,000 degrees Celsius).
January 6, 1999
Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)