[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Calvin Observatory
Home
Hours
Directions
Weather Forecast
Cool Images
Equipment
Publications
Observing Request
External Links
 
Related Links
Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2007

Previous imageUp to Astr110 IndexNext image

Cats Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), Cooper Venema

Cat's Eye Nebula

This Cats Eye Nebula, (NGC 6543) was originally discovered by William Herschel on February 15, 1786. A planetary nebula is an expanding shell of thin, ionized gas that is ejected from a hot, dying star that is sometimes the mass of the sun; this gas absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the central star, and re-emits it as visible light through the process of fluorescence. This particular nebula is located in the constellation Draco,is estimated to be 1,000 years old, and is approximately 3261.6 light years away from earth. This nebula is a visual "fossil record" of the dynamics and the late revolution of a perishing star. The hubble telescope reveals surprising jets of high-speed gas and unusual shock-indused knots of gas in this nebula.

Using the small angle formula we can calculate this nebula to be approximately .394 light years from the top of the object to the bottom, which is relatively small as observed by us. The Cats Eye Nebula in the center of the screen, gives off a very distinct and beautiful green color contrasted with the bright white star on the right side of the screen, which proves that it is not a star, but is still a very brilliant and amazing fingerprint of God. Among the central circle of green you can notice a green sort of hazy extention coming out of the bottom right of the object. This gives the nebula a very strange shape that is not circular, as most stars appear to be.

References:
"planetary nebula." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 06 Nov. 2007. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/planetary nebula>.

Harrington, J.P. . 1995. 6 Nov. 2007 <http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1995/01>.

Professor Larry Molnar's One on One Discussion.

Right Ascension (J2000) 17:58:36
Declination (J2000) 66:38:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 2x120 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

December 31, 2007 (C)
December 31, 2007 (BVR)