Astral Imaging at Dogwood Ridge Observatory

Latitude: 3748'51.0" N"
Scottsville, Virginia 24590


(click on thumbnails to go to that image's page)






Cat's Eye Nebula
Image Information

Quoted froms SEDS:
Right Ascension 17 : 58.6 (h:m)
Declination +66 : 38 (deg:m)
Distance 3.6 (kly)
Visual Brightness 8.1 (mag)
Apparent Dimension 0.3/5.8 (arc min)

Discovered by William Herschel in 1786.

This magnificient planetary is another prominent northern object missed by Charles Messier and discovered by William Herschel, on February 15, 1786. The Cat Eye Nebula was the first planetary which was spectroscopically investigated and displayed its typical (and peculiar) line spectrum, by the English amateur astronomer William Huggins, published originally in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London) in 1864 - in the same volume where John Herschel published his General Catalog (GC) of 5079 entries for deep sky objects. (Huggins 1864).

NGC 6543 is situated almost exactly in the direction of the North Ecliptic Pole. This means that the normal vector of Earth's orbital plane (and also the total angular momentum vector of our solar system) points to a direction very close to this nebula, and that those diagrams of planetary orbits in the yearbooks and magazines represent the view of them from this planetary.

Our image was obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope (Project scientists: J.P. Harrington and K.J. Borkowski, University of Maryland). A higher-res version and caption (html) as well as Press Release text (PR 95-01a) is available. An enhanced b/w version of this image was released at the same time (PR 95-01b).

While the nebula, with its 20 arc second diameter, is rather small, it has an extended halo of matter the progenitor star has ejected during its red giant phase. This halo measures 386 arc seconds (5.8 arc min) according to observations of A.G. Millikan (Millikan 1974). The brightest knot in this halo was discovered by E.E. Barnard, on April 24, 1900, and found its way into the IC catalog, with its own IC number, IC 4677.

Bill Arnett's Cateye Nebula NGC 6543 photo page, info page.

In the SAC 110 best NGC object list. Caldwell 6 in Patrick Moore's list. In the RASC's Finest N.G.C. Objects Objects list.









Cat's Eye Nebula NGC6543 - IC4677 


1600         2000


The Cat's Eye Nebula NGC6543-IC4677
Full Crop


This image consists of 29 Hyrogen Alfa 30 minute exposures for a total of 14-1/2 hours. The images are binned 1x1. All taken at -30/20C. All data was acquired using MaxImDl/CCD version 5.24 using ACP8 and Scheduler8.  Pix Insight version was used for processing. Dithered guiding was on.

Equipment and Location Information

Date April 5 - May 26, 2015
Location Dogwood Ridge Observatory
Optics Optical Guidance Systems 12.5" RC @f/9
Mount Astro Physics AP1200GTO
Camera SBIG STL-11002M/CW8
Filters Baader LRGB Ha 7nm,SII 8nm, OIII 8.5nm - 50.8mm Unmounted Filters
Conditions Temperature low to mid 50s - 60s with moderate to good  seeing. Transparency good.

  Last Modified :10/02/12 01:10 PM