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ASTRO: NGC 6543 Cat's Eye

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Old August 14th 12, 07:56 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.astro
Rick Johnson[_2_]
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Posts: 3,085
Default ASTRO: NGC 6543 Cat's Eye

NGC 6543, the Cat's Eye Nebula is located in Draco about 3000 light
years from earth. It is a small planetary nebula about 27"x 24" of arc
in size for the bright center area. The outer parts are 350 x 332
seconds across in my image. While often imaged by the Hubble Space
Telescope none of the images are true color. The closest I've found is
at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/image...ature_211.html.
The outer regions are far too large for this telescope so it only shows
the core region.

The outer parts are not really part of the planetary nebula itself.
That is the bright central part. The outer parts are dust and gas
thrown off by the central star while still a red giant during its mass
loss stage prior to it creating the planetary nebula. The ages of
planetary nebula are hard to determine but models indicate they can't
last much more than 10,000 years but the expansion rate of the faint
outer part indicate it is at least 50,000 and maybe as much as 90,000
years old. The spiral galaxy is NGC 6552 at about 350 million
light-years. It is classed as SB? at NED and SBbc by the NGC project.
It is a strong X-ray source and a Seyfert 2 galaxy so has a very active
nucleus. It's colors seem strange. The bar is blue but the ring like
arms very red. Or is it a bar? Take away the ring and it would look
like a disk galaxy that has lost its dust but blue from recent star
formation. I found little on this guy but could it be the result of a
merger of a spiral and an old elliptical galaxy? That could explain the
active nucleus.

The Cat's eye Nebula is a very difficult target due to the extreme range
in brightness. I didn't begin to get enough time on it for the outer
parts. The inner part is so bright I could use only 1 minute exposures.
Due to my camera's high read noise compared to some other cameras I
took 60 of them. 3 were discarded due to seeing being suddenly worse on
them than the rest. Why I don't know as they were not consecutive
images. I then used an hours worth, in 10 minute subs, of data for the
outer parts. That turned out to be insufficient. I really need at
least two hours worth at 20 minutes per sub to be sky limited when
imaging at 1x1 binning as I did here. So the outer regions are noisy
and very fuzzy. I'll have to try again if I ever get a night for 1x1
binning again. Merging the two turned out to be more difficult than I
expected. I really needed to get some 4 minute subs to transition
between the inner and outer regions.

14" LX200R @ f/10, Core L=57x1'x1 RGB=10x1'x2, Everything else
L=6x10'x1, RGB=2x10'x2, STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

Prefix is correct. Domain is arvig dot net

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Old August 14th 12, 07:53 PM
WA0CKY WA0CKY is offline
Senior Member
First recorded activity by SpaceBanter: Feb 2008
Posts: 689

I'm told some services missed the cropped version and the full one was too large so trying again with the cropped version

Prefix is correct. Domain is arvig dot net[/quote]
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