Monday, January 24, 2011

The Cat's Eye Nebula

This image of the Cat's Eye Nebula or NGC 6543 was obtained using the Wide Field Camera on the Isaac Newton Telescope. It is a three-colour composite made from data collected using filters to isolate the light emitted by hydrogen alpha (H-alpha), doubly ionised oxygen (OIII) and ionised sulfur (SII) atoms, and coded in the image as red, green and blue respectively. Credit: D. López and R. Barrena (IAC) [ JPEG | TIFF | PDF (with text) ]

NGC 6543, nicknamed the Cat's Eye Nebula, is one of the most complex of the planetary class nebula, stars that throw of spheres of gas at the end of their lives. It is located in the constellation Draco and is thought to have been created 1000 years ago by two stars orbiting each other.

This image was obtained and processed by members of the IAC astrophotography group (A. Oscoz, D. López, P. Rodríguez-Gil and L. Chinarro).

More information:

NGC 6543 - Monthly IAC Astrophoto
IAC Astronomical Picture of the Month

Javier Méndez
Public Relations Officer