|Albert van Duin
| Most well-known pictures of the Cat's Eye Nebula are high-resolution (Hubble) images of the central part of this planetary nebula. But the nebula is much larger than that, because it has a much fainter outer shell.
From my observatory, the object is favorably placed only for a short period each year. Just after the "grey nights" of summer, it emerges above the roof of my house, but only for a few hours. Later in the year it is out of view again, so imaging it requires a bit of luck.
In this image, the bright central part of the nebula is overexposed; it even shows diffraction spikes. Eventually, I will have to add some shorter integrations to fill in this gap and get a nice HDR image. Please click on the image for a full-size view.
As a bonus, the field also contains NGC6552, a very nice barred spiral galaxy with a ring.
The image is an LRGB composite of nine 600s integrations each for R,G and B, and ten 600s integrations for the luminance channel, made with my 400mm telescope and a cooled CCD camera.