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Observation by Dean Ashton: M57 - High Dynamic Range Image

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Dean Ashton


Dean Ashton


2017 Jun 17 - 22:00


2018 Apr 04 - 11:10


The Ring Nebula (M57)

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Field centre

RA: 18h53m
Dec: +33°01'
Position angle: -6°54'

Field size

0°18' × 0°14'

  • 235mm Celestron EdgeHD SCT at /f10
  • Celestron CGEM
  • Celestron Nightscape – TEC 0oC
  • LoadstarX2 guide camera with off-axis guiding
  • Electronic starlight feather touch focuser using BOSS II control system

53x300s f/10


St Austell, Cornwall UK

Target name



M57 - High Dynamic Range Image

About this image

An old familiar favourite, the Ring Nebula in Lyra.  In this image I attempted to capture some of the structure in the ring by: capturing in excess of 4-hours of light frames; and combining the use of PixInsight and PhotoShop to create a high dynamic range image.

Recent research has confirmed that M57 is, most probably, actually a ring (torus) of bright light-emitting material surrounding its central star, and not a spherical (or ellipsoidal) shell. Viewed from its equatorial plane, it would thus more resemble the Dumbbell Nebula M27 than its appearance we know from here. We happen to view it from near one pole.

M57 image capture took place on 16th June 2017 from St. Austell, Cornwall.  Weather: 17.2oC. 72% Humidity, pressure 1004mb

M57 image capture also took place on 17th June 2017.  Weather: 16.8oC. 81% Humidity, pressure 1002mb

A total of 53x300second (4 hours and 20 minutes) light frames were calibrated, stacked and initially processed in PixInsight.  In order to create the high dynamic range in this image, five separate images were created in PixInsight with different levels of non-linear stretching.  The five images were then layered and blended in Photoshop to create the single high dynamic rang image.

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