The Cats Eye Nebula in Optical and X-ray
To some it looks like a cat's eye.
To others, perhaps like a giant cosmic
It is actually one of brightest and most highly detailed
planetary nebula known,
composed of gas expelled in the brief yet
glorious phase near the end of life of a Sun-like star.
's dying central star may have produced the outer circular
in a series of regular convulsions.
formation of the beautiful, complex-yet-symmetric
however, is not well understood.
featured image is a composite of a digitally sharpened
Hubble Space Telescope image with
The exquisite floating space statue spans over half a
gazing into this Cat's Eye
humanity may well be seeing
the fate of our sun, destined to enter its own
phase of evolution ... in about 5 billion years.
APOD in world languages:
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
A service of:
& Michigan Tech. U.
Publications with keywords: NGC 6543 - Cat's Eye Nebula
Publications with words: NGC 6543 - Cat's Eye Nebula