How to find the Ring Nebula (M57)

The Ring Nebula (M57) is an intriguing object in the form of a ring shape hanging in the sky. It is quite faint and can be difficult to locate in smaller telescopes. Located on the edge of the distinctive parallelogram shaped constellation of Lyra. Lyra is found in the summer triangle, a large imaginary triangle taken from three very bright stars. The brightest star in the triangle is called Vega, part of the Lyra constellation. This is the brightest star in the sky in the summer. A very prominent star that should be quite easy to find.

M57 Summer Triangle
Click to enlarge

Once Vega and the constellation of Lyra is found, take the short edge furthest away from Vega. M57 is located halfway between the two stars that form this edge (illustrated below).

M57 in Lyra

An image of the Ring Nebula can be seen in the Nebulae section of the gallery