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Cat's Eye Nebula with the NOT

Cat's Eye Nebula with the NOT

Date: 09 September 2004
Satellite: Nordic Optical Telescope
Depicts: NGC 6543, The Cat's Eye Nebula, IRAS 17584+6638A
Location: La Palma, Canary Islands
Copyright: Nordic Optical Telescope and Romano Corradi (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Spain)

An enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material surrounds the Cat's Eye Nebula and is over three light-years across. Within the past years some planetary nebulae been found to have halos like this one, likely formed of material ejected during earlier active episodes in the star's evolution - most likely some 50 000 to 90 000 years ago.

This image was taken by Romano Corradi with the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands. The image is constructed from two narrow-band exposures showing oxygen atoms (1800 seconds, in blue) and nitrogen atoms (1800 seconds, in red).

Last Update: 1 September 2019
24-Feb-2024 15:29 UT

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