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Stars and stellar evolution
Ring Nebula

Ring Nebula, M57, NGC 6720


A planetary nebula formed by a dying star of greater mass than the Sun


The planetary nebula is found in the constellation Lyra in the Northern Hemisphere.

Distance from Earth

2,300 light-years


About 1 light-year across

The Ring Nebula is the best known example of a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star.

Enlarge Image


"Fast Facts: Ring Nebula" is a table that lists the name, description, location, size, and distance of this planetary nebula from Earth. A picture of the nebula is included.

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Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A mapping activity. Locate the nebula's associated constellation on a star map.

A large-number recognition activity. Have students look at several Fast Fact tables, including this one. Ask them to place the objects described in the Fast Fact tables in order, starting with the object closest to Earth and ending with the one farthest away.

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Reveals the Ring Nebula's True Shape"

Amazing space resources by topic: Stars and Stellar Evolution