Tag Archives: Lyra

Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula (also catalogued as Messier 57, M57 or NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra. Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a red giant star, which was passing through the last stage in its evolution before becoming a white dwarf.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Ian King Ikharos 8″ RC
Imaging cameras: Atik 460 EX
Mounts: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Ian King Ikharos 8″ RC
Guiding cameras: Atik 314L+
Software: PixInsight, Software Bisque CCDSoft 5, Software Bisque TheSkyX, iLanga AstroPlanner, Matt Thomas’s CCDCommander
Filters: Baader Luminance 36mm, Baader Red, Green, Blue 36mm
Accessories: Atik EFW2, Innovations Foresight On-axis guider
Dates: June 19, 2014
Baader H-alpha 7nm 36mm: 55×900″ bin 2×2
Baader Luminance 36mm: 69×300″ bin 1×1
Baader Red, Green, Blue 36mm: 75×300″ bin 1×1
Integration: 25.8 hours

Author: Colin McGill
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 27 Sep 2014

Rings Around the Ring Nebula 

Image Credit: Hubble, Large Binocular Telescope, Subaru Telescope; Composition & Copyright: Robert Gendler

 It is a familiar sight to sky enthusiasts with even a small telescope. There is much more to the Ring Nebula (M57), however, than can be seen through a small telescope. The easily visible central ring is about one light-year across, but this remarkably deep exposure – a collaborative effort combining data from three different large telescopes – explores the looping filaments of glowing gas extending much farther from the nebula’scentral star. This remarkable composite image includes narrowband hydrogen image, visible light emission, and infrared light emission. Of course, in this well-studied example of a planetary nebula, the glowing material does not come from planets. Instead, the gaseous shroud represents outer layers expelled from a dying, sun-like star. The Ring Nebula is about 2,000 light-years away toward the musical constellation Lyra.
APOD NASA 13-Aug-14

Globular cluster M56 in Lyra

36cb60b6cfb4004e9191234c7d471f7d.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-6_watermark_text-© Peter Folkesson

 M56 (or aka NGC 6779) is a globular cluster in the constellation Lyra. It was discovered by Charles Messieron January 19, 1779. The cluster is located almost midway along an imaginary line between Albireo (β Cygni) and Sulafat (γ Lyrae). It is a challenge to find with large (50–80 mm) binoculars, appearing as a slightly fuzzy star. The cluster can be resolved using a telescope with an aperture of 8 in (20 cm) or larger.

M56 is at a distance of about 32,900 light-years from Earth and measures roughly 84 light-years across, with a combined mass some 230,000 times that of the Sun. It is about 31–32 kly (9.5–9.8 kpc) from the Galactic Center and 4.8 kly (1.5 kpc) above thegalactic plane. This cluster has an estimated age of 13.70 billion years and is following a retrograde orbit through the Milky Way. The properties of this cluster suggest that it may have been acquired during the merger of a dwarf galaxy, of which Omega Centauriforms the surviving nucleus. For Messier 56, the abundance of elements other than hydrogen and helium, what astronomers term themetallicity, has a very low value of [Fe/H] = –2.00 dex. This is equivalent to 1% of the abundance in the Sun.

The brightest stars in M56 are of 13th magnitude, while it contains only about a dozen known variable stars, such as V6 (RV Tauri star; period: 90 days) or V1 (Cepheid: 1.510 days); other variable stars are V2 (irregular) and V3 (semiregular). In 2000, a diffuse X-ray emission was tentatively identified coming from the vicinity of the cluster. This is most likely interstellar medium that has been heated by the passage of the cluster through the galactic halo. The relative velocity of the cluster is about 177 km s−1, which is sufficient to heat the medium in its wake to a temperature of 940,000 K.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade Model 2080
Imaging cameras: Canon 600D
Mounts: Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Celestron 80mm Guidescope
Guiding cameras: Sky-Watcher Synguider
Software: PixInsight, BinaryRivers BackyardEOS
Dates: Sept. 27, 2013
Locations: Borås, Sweden
Frames: 15×240″ ISO800
Integration: 1.0 hours
Darks: ~20
Flats: ~20
Bias: ~20

Author: Peter Folkesson

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
22 May 2014