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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Cat's Eye Stories

e56a3af71cb667d500e75c523afa38701
2009-03-12 12:40:00

The "Cat's Eye" nebula, or NGC 6543, is a well-studied example of a "planetary nebula." Such objects are the glowing remnants of dust and gas expelled from moderate-sized stars during their last stages of life. Our own sun will generate such a nebula in about five billion years. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has studied many such planetary nebulae in infrared light, including a variety of more distant ones, which have helped scientists identify a population of carbon-bearing stars near our...