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NGC 6543 - Cat's Eye Nebula

NGC 6543 - Cat's Eye Nebula

Date: 09 September 2004
Satellite: Hubble
Depicts: NGC 6543, The Cat's Eye Nebula, IRAS 17584+6638A
Copyright: ESA, NASA, HEIC and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Although the Cat's Eye Nebula was one of the first planetary nebula ever to be discovered, it is one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen in space. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers to form bright nebulae with amazing twisted shapes.

This new image, taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the full beauty of a bull's-eye pattern of eleven or more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat's Eye. Each 'ring' is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky - which is why it appears bright along its outer edge.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
25-Feb-2024 05:10 UT

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