Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Cat's Eye Nebula

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#96127 by @ 13.11.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
The Cat's Eye Nebula

Three thousand light-years away,
a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas.

This image from the
Hubble Space Telescope reveals the
Cat's Eye Nebula to be one of the most

planetary nebulae known.

In fact, the features seen in the
Cat's Eye
are so complex that astronomers suspect the bright
central object may actually be a
binary star system.

The term planetary
, used to describe this
general class of objects, is misleading.

Although these objects may appear round and
planet-like in small telescopes,
high resolution images reveal them to be stars
surrounded by cocoons of gas blown off in the late stages of
stellar evolution.

Credit & Copyright
#96149 by @ 13.11.2006 23:07 - nach oben -
#96151 by @ 14.11.2006 00:02 - nach oben -
#96165 by @ 14.11.2006 15:20 - nach oben -