Astronomy Sky's the Limit!

This episode of the Hubblecast explores the Ring Nebula (Messier 57). Although this nebula is one of the most famous objects in our skies, more than 200 years after its discovery astronomers are still unveiling some of its secrets.

The Ring Nebula was discovered in the late 18th century, but its true shape and structure has remained unclear. Now, a team of astronomers has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, alongside existing ground-based data, to explore the Ring Nebula in depth. The astronomers wanted to better understand the nebula's structure, evolution, physical conditions, and motion — and it turns out that the Ring Nebula is not actually very ring-shaped after all.

Hubblecast 66 showcases stunning new Hubble images of this beautiful object, showing the bright, colourful centre of the nebula, and the dramatically turbulent space that surrounds it.

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Credit: ESA/Hubble

Directed by: Nicola Guttridge
Visual design and editing: Martin Kornmesser
Written by: Nicola Guttridge
Presented by: Joe Liske (Dr J)
Narration: Sara Mendes da Costa
Animations: Martin Kornmesser
Images: ESA/Hubble and NASA
- Images of Messier 57: ESA/Hubble & NASA, the Hubble Heritage team (STScI/AURA), the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO), and C.R. O'Dell
- The Little Dumbbell Nebula, Messier 76: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Web and technical support: Mathias Andre and Raquel Yumi Shida
Music: Toomas Erm
Cinematography: Peter Rixner (
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen


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