Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is beautiful. This is called the “Cat's Eye nebula”. It was first spotted by the telescope in 1994, take ". The Cat's Eye nebula sits about 3,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco. The nebula's concentric rings are the result of eruptions from its central star. This is a composite version of the image, blending data from Hubble (red and purple) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue). It reveals the full beauty of a bull's-eye pattern of eleven or more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat’s Eye. Each ‘ring’ is the edge of a round bubble seen projected onto the sky, which is why it appears bright along its outer edge.