Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Halo of the Cat's Eye
Posted on 06/01/2014 12:08:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this stunning false-color picture, processed to reveal the enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, over three light-years across, which surrounds the brighter, familiar planetary nebula. Made with data from the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands, the composite picture shows extended emission from the nebula. Planetary nebulae have long been appreciated as a final phase in the life of a sun-like star. Only much more recently however, have some planetaries been found to have halos like this one, likely formed of material shrugged off during earlier active episodes in the star's evolution. While the planetary nebula phase is thought to last for around 10,000 years, astronomers estimate the age of the outer filamentary portions of this halo to be 50,000 to 90,000 years.
(Excerpt) Read more at 184.108.40.206 ...
[Credit & Copyright: R. Corradi (Isaac Newton Group), Nordic Optical Telescope]
Not my fault!
I hope it's not really one of this jerk's eyes!
17.5 trillion miles across...!!!
So that is what Ceiling Cat looks like.
It looks as if there are discreet rings around the star as if it were pulsating as well.
Wonderful image. Thank you, Sir.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.