NGC 6543, the Cat's Eye Nebula   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Planetary nebula in Draco

In the northern hemishpere, this bright planetary nebula floats high overhead on mid-summer evenings. Through a telescope at medium power, the view is very much like the lower image to the left: the nebula is bright but not large, and it has a distinct blue-green color. If you look closely, it is not hard to see the central star from which this nebula has formed. Through a large telescope at high magnification, some of the internal structure of the nebula can be seen.

The enlarged image to the left shows a lot of interesting detail in the Cat's Eye, including some faint wisps of a halo surrounding the bright oval. The nebula is about magnitude 9, and its disk measures about 23 x 17 arcseconds.

Image details:  25 images, each 10 seconds at ISO 1600 with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/10. 

July 2009