|It looks like a ring on the sky.
Hundreds of years ago
noticed a nebula with a most unusual shape.
Now known as
or NGC 6720, the gas cloud became popularly known as the
It is now known to be a
a gas cloud emitted at the end of a Sun-like star's existence.
As one of the brightest
planetary nebula on the sky,
the Ring Nebula can be seen with a small telescope in the constellation of
The Ring Nebula lies about 4,000
light years away, and is roughly 500 times the diameter of
our Solar System.
In this picture by the
Hubble Space Telescope in 1998,
dust filaments and globules are visible far from the central star.
This helps indicate that the Ring Nebula is not spherical, but
H. Bond et al.,
Hubble Heritage Team