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💫Planetary Nebula NGC 6543


Mysterious stellar fireworks create expanding gas shells and blowtorch-like jets which form a spectacularly intricate and symmetrical structure. The nebula is a fossil record of the late stages of the star's evolution. 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).[3] It is a well-studied object that has been observed from radio to X-ray wavelengths.

Credit:
J.P. Harrington and K.J. Borkowski (University of Maryland), and NASA


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