Near and Far (NGC 6543 and NGC 6552)

clic for 36% size 1250 x 934 (450 kB)

Clic here for 70% size 1971x1506 (506 kB)


About this Image

The main object in the center of this image represents a dying star throwing off outer shells of ionisized gas. The center part is very bright and extends just over 25 arc seconds. The huge very faint filamentary shell (made visible by strong stretching) is 10.000 times fainter. It reports of ancient previous eruptions of the star that have dissipated far out into space. It is named Cat's Eye Nebula due to its symmetrical and colorful shape. It shows one of the most complex structures of all planetary nebulae known. Astronomers suspect the bright central object may actually be a binary star system.
The distance to the Nebula is 3000 light years.


In supplement to the nebula the ringed Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 6552 in approx. 360 millions light years distance is shining to the right. North is down.

Below you see a close-up on the bright central part of the Cat's Eye Nebula in 400% size.

Hubble image of NGC6543: 1.

Technical Details


16" cassegrain in secondary focus at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -15C, internal filter wheel, AO-L
Filters Astronomik H-alpha, LRGB
Date June 09-16, 2007.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5 sky, raw FWHM 1.1 - 1.4", temperature 20;
Exposure close-up: Ha:L:R:G:B = 10:10:5:5:5 minutes (30 sec subexposures)
full size: L:R:G:B = 300:120:80:120 (20 min subexposures), all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.56; preprocessing and deconvolution in CCDstack; wavelets filtering; other in Photoshop;