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stevepenny

Ring Nebula in Lyra

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Hi,

Tonight and very much on a whim I decided to go and hunt for the Ring Nebula in Lyra......but I can't find it.

Seeing was not fantastic due to the moon but with around 160 degrees of separation I didn't think that it would be that noticeable.

I was using my Skywatcher 130mm reflector with a 25mm EP. I aimed right between the two lower stars in Lyra (almost managed to fit them both in the FOV) but could find the Ring Nebula. I tried a 6mm wide angle at the point where I thought I would find it but the resulting image was too dim to be of any use.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

I'm comtemplating a 10" Dob; would make finding it any easier or is this just too small/dim for my current setup?

Thanks

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It certainly should be visible with your scope although the bright moon really won't help at all. Even the brightest deep sky objects get rather "shy" when there is any light in the sky whether man-made or natural. The Ring is also quite easy to overlook as a bloated star at low power although with some familliarity you will be able to separate it from it's starry neighbours easily enough.

I'd say try again on a moonless night. It's normally quite easy to spot with my 102mm refractor.

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As John says, try again when the moon is out of the way. Darker skies makes a huge difference when hunting down dso's, especially if finding them for the first time.

I usually find it easier to locate an object such as the ring with a longer focal length eyepiece so personally I would stick with the 25mm, or anything down to about an 18mm. Once you've found it then chuck in the shorter focal length eyepieces for a closer look.

Good luck.

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Using your 25mm will get you a tiny smokey doughnut.

Without the moon, You'll get it no problem. It really is a buzz when you get it, as it really looks like a ring!

Paul

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Lyra is a beautiful constellation with many gems to discover but you may find it isn't in the best position to view. Even around early evening it's dipping relatively low in the western sky, so you're going to have a lot more atmospheric guck to observe through. I'm certain, just as John, Paul and David have stressed, that you will be able to see M 57 when the moon moves from the sky, but it won't be at its best until next autumn.

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Yeah, it is surprisingly small in the sky, and you might mistake it for an "out of focus" star at low mag.  As others have said try again on a moonless night, and also when Lyra is still high in the sky, so early evening currently,  The closer to the horizon the thicker atmosphere, and sodium glow you will have to contend with.

Interesting aside, does anyone notice a marked increase in light of differing wavelengths at this festive time of year, lots of LEDs going up, I would love to do some spectral analysis of the town nebulae during the year to see if there is any seasonal variations...

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M57 is so bright, you should be able to see it even with the moon.  Keep at it and you will see it.  It will look like a star that can't focus.  Too me the color is like a bluish gray.  When you find it put in that 6mm and enjoy.

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......but it won't be at its best until next autumn.

Hi Qualia,

Very many thanks for your comments (and also thanks to everyone else who commented :smiley: ); how do you know that it will be better next year?  I would have though that the position of the stars on the celestial sphere were fairly similar year on year; or will we be relatively nearer etc. 

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Hi Steve. I frequent the ring nebula fairly often. It sounds like you're looking in the right place but i suspect you'll know it when you see it. Start on low power as it's just off centre of those 2 stars (Beta & Gamma Lyrae)

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Hi Qualia,

Very many thanks for your comments (and also thanks to everyone else who commented :smiley: ); how do you know that it will be better next year?  I would have though that the position of the stars on the celestial sphere were fairly similar year on year; or will we be relatively nearer etc. 

Aye, that is true, Steve. I guess due to our orbit around the Sun, the constellation of Lyra is now inching from its optimum observing position at the zenith and moving towards our west. This indicates that even if you start viewing early evening, you're still observing through thicker layers of atmospheric and LP muck and by mid January, Lyra will be pretty difficult to observe and by February, will have effectively disappeared from our night skies.

If you can view Lyra this month, this doesn't mean that you won't be able to see M 57, but it does suggest that it isn't the best season to tweak detail from the gentle whisperings of this deep space object. For that, I feel it is best to wait until next autumn when Lyra will be high in the sky at a reasonable observing hour.

I hope this has cleared the misunderstanding :smiley:

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It is visible with 130mm scope. It will be tiny, but you will know exactly what it is when you spot it. It is perfectly formed and to me looked like a small smoke ring.

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Aye, that is true, Steve. I guess due to our orbit around the Sun, the constellation of Lyra is now inching from its optimum observing position at the zenith and moving towards our west. This indicates that even if you start viewing early evening, you're still observing through thicker layers of atmospheric and LP muck and by mid January, Lyra will be pretty difficult to observe and by February, will have effectively disappeared from our night skies.

If you can view Lyra this month, this doesn't mean that you won't be able to see M 57, but it does suggest that it isn't the best season to tweak detail from the gentle whisperings of this deep space object. For that, I feel it is best to wait until next autumn when Lyra will be high in the sky at a reasonable observing hour.

I hope this has cleared the misunderstanding :smiley:

Hi Qualia,

Many thanks; it was my miss-understanding not your kind explanation.  I ran it through Stellarium last night on 'fast-forward' and you are right; in june/july Lyra is much higher in the sky.

I need to learn more about the celestial sphere !!

Thanks again.

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You should have no problem seeing this even with "some" moon (not full of course!).

I took this https://www.flickr.com/photos/hymanmj/15254476460/ single exposure at prime focus on an Orion ST80 (3.1")

Hope you find it soon.

:)

 I first spotted it with a 5 inch scope and it was a bit bigger, but that is basically it

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It's a strange one. Because it's small and a bit like a fuzzy star at low power it can be tricky to find at first. Once you've located it a few time though you will be able to go straight to it.

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I tried and failed last week but likely had it in my EP and just assumed it was another star. Some good advice here, hopefully get it next time.

Also, I was using my 8 inch newt with a 30mm EP.

Mark

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I tried and failed last week but likely had it in my EP and just assumed it was another star. Some good advice here, hopefully get it next time.

Also, I was using my 8 inch newt with a 30mm EP.

Mark

An 8 inch scope and 30mm EP is enough to detect it. You really do have to know that you are in the right place to find it. Then zoom in from the 30mm to a higer mag.

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Funny I had trouble finding it at first, even in my 130mm reflector and Evo 120. Now its easy in my 90mm refractor with 20mm plossl. Once you have seen it its just there!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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Try with no moon for sure, the moon reduces contrast severely. A 10mm eye piece will work nicely to see it, with and without a very helpful UHC. This object can take high mag even in my 90mm frac - shows well and It will show better in your 130mm newt. This is where a half decent zoom can be handy, it will find the best mag/exit pupil for you.

With my 10" from dark skies M57 gives a great view at 240x+  mag just for reference.

Swampthing a while ago heavily suggested me getting to dark skies to observe DSO and this has been some of the best advice I've had.

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In my 130p I see it really with averted vision I don't see it if U try to look at it. 16mm gives my best view.

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