The Cat's Eye Nebula

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen, NGC 6543, nicknamed the 'Cat's Eye Nebula.' Hubble reveals surprisingly intricate structures including concentric gas shells, jets of high-speed gas and unusual shock-induced knots of gas. Estimated to be 1, 000 years old, the nebula is a visual 'fossil record' of the dynamics and late evolution of a dying star.


J.P. Harrington and K.J. Borkowski (University of Maryland), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:11 January 1995, 15:00
Size:762 x 746 px

About the Object

Name:Cat's Eye Nebula, IRAS 17584+6638A, NGC 6543
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:3000 light years

Colours & filters

Hubble Space Telescope

Image Formats

Large JPEG
151.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
199.7 KB

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