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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cat's Eye Nebula reprocessed

Since my processing technique gets better and weather doesn't give any support, I have reprocessed some older images. There is now star colors added and other processing is tweaked too.

NGC 6543, the "Cat's Eye Nebula"
Ra  17h 58m 33 Dec +66° 37′ 59"

Image is in HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope)
from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.
Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III and B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.

In this image the rarely imaged outer shell is visible. This was very difficult to process, due the massive brightness difference between the core and the outer parts.

The Cat's Eye Nebula, NGC 6543, Cladwell 6, is a planetary nebula in constellation Drago.

Distance is about 3300 light years.

More information in Wikipedia:

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

Image is shot with a QHY9 and the Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5, pixel scale 0.65pixels/arc second.
Original versions from November 2008, with technical details:

Just the Eye part of the nebula, enlarged 400% from my image.

There is a hint of co centric circles visible around the nebula.
Faint rings are spherical shells ejected by the central star in the distant past. The exact mechanism of ejections is unclear. Image is in HST-palette.

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