New view of the Ring Nebula (also known as Messier 57 or NGC 6720) by the Hubble Space Telescope.
From Earth’s perspective, the nebula looks like a simple elliptical shape with a shaggy boundary. However, new observations combining existing ground-based data with new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope data show that the nebula is shaped like a distorted doughnut. This doughnut has a rugby-ball-shaped region of lower-density material slotted into in its central ‘gap’, stretching towards and away from us.
Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and C. Robert O'Dell (Vanderbilt University)