Ring Nebula, 1880s

Ring Nebula, 1880s

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Credit: METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ring Nebula. 19th-century astronomical observation of the planetary nebula now called the Ring Nebula (M57, NGC 6720). This object consists of an expanding shell of material ejected from a star around 1600 years ago. It is about 2300 light years away, in the constellation of Lyra. This early photograph (an albumen silver print from a glass negative) was obtained in around 1885 by French astronomers Paul and Prosper Henry from the Paris Observatory. The two brothers had developed a photographic telescope that was able to track objects in the night sky for as long as an hour.

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