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More Images of NGC 6543
1
Chandra X-ray Image of NGC 6534/Cat's Eye
Chandra's X-ray data of NGC 6543, better known as the Cat's Eye nebula, shows that its central star is surrounded by a cloud of multi-million-degree gas. By comparing where the X-rays lie in relation to the structures seen in optical light by Hubble (below), astronomers were able to deduce that the chemical abundances in the region of hot gas were like those in the wind from the central star and different from the outer cooler material. In the case of the Cat's Eye, material shed by the star is flying away at a speed of about 4 million miles per hour. The star itself is expected to collapse to become a white dwarf star in a few million years.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)
2
Hubble Optical Image of NGC 6534/Cat's Eye
This Hubble telescope image shows one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen, NGC 6543, nicknamed the "Cat's Eye Nebula." Hubble reveals surprisingly intricate structures including concentric gas shells, jets of high-speed gas, and unusual shock-induced knots of gas. Estimated to be 1,000 years old, the nebula is a visual "fossil record" of the dynamics and late evolution of a dying star.
More at Hubble
(Credit: NASA/STScI)
3
NGC 6543 with Scale Bar


Return to NGC 6543 (July 30, 2008)