The Cat’s Eye Nebula or NGC 6543, is a relatively bright planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Draco, discovered by William Herschel on February 15, 1786. It was the first planetary nebula whose spectrum was investigated by the English amateur astronomer William Huggins, demonstrating that planetary nebulae were gaseous and not stellar in nature. Structurally, the object has had high-resolution images by the Hubble Space Telescope revealing knots, jets, bubbles and complex arcs, being illuminated by the central hot planetary nebula nucleus (PNN). It is a well-studied object that has been observed from radio to X-ray wavelengths.
This image of NGC 6543 processed to reveal the concentric rings surrounding the inner core. Also visible are the linear structures, possibly caused by precessing jets from a binary central star system.
Image Author: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/CXC/STScI
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