Dying star creates fantasy-like sculpture of gas and dust

In this detailed view from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the so-called Cat's Eye Nebula looks like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film adaptation of "Lord of the Rings."

The nebula, formally catalogued NGC 6543, is every bit as inscrutable as the J.R.R. Tolkien phantom character. Although the Cat's Eye Nebula was the first planetary nebula ever to be discovered, it is one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen in space. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers to form bright nebulae with amazing twisted shapes.

Credit:

ESA, NASA, HEIC and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

About the Image

NASA caption
Id:heic0414a
Type:Observation
Release date:9 September 2004, 15:00
Related releases:heic0414
Size:1417 x 1417 px

About the Object

Name:Cat's Eye Nebula, NGC 6543
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:3000 light years

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Oiii
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
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505 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
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658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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