The Ring Nebula, or Messier 57, is one of my favorite planetary nebula and lies in the northern constellation of Lyra. The Ring Nebula was formed by an exploding red giant star, and is essentially a cloud of ionized gas, and to our perspective it resembles a ringed shape.
If you would like to view the Ring Nebula here in the Coachella Valley, the best time currently would be around 2am. This is a fairly faint nebula, so a high aperture telescope is needed, and I do recommend a planetary nebula filter like a UHC. On the other hand, if you are interested in astrophotography, like myself, this was taken with a Canon 450D 30s x 30 lights 30 darks 30 bias stacked in DSS and touched up in CS6. The telescope used was a Celestron Nexstar 6SE using the standard alt-azimuth mount.