Cat's Eye Nebula Facts

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Cat's Eye Nebula Facts. A dark nebula is so dense that objects behind are obscured. This type of nebula extinguishes light with interstellar dust grains.

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The dying star appears to have ejected its material to form the nebula at. William herschel first discovered it in 1786, and in 1864 it became the first planetary nebula to be detected with a spectroscope, giving astronomers insight into what makes up the planetary nebulae. Space and astronomy image size:

The cat’s eye nebula, also known as ngc 6543, is a visual “fossil record” of the dynamics and late evolution of a dying star.

The nebula’s distinctly red glow is the result of an abundance of ionised hydrogen atoms. It represents a late stage in the evolution of a star with less than 8 solar mass. It is estimated to be 1,000 years old. The cat's eye nebula has a complicated and beautiful structure made from multiple expanding spheres of gas.