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The Cat's Eye Nebula NGC6543

Submitter: Albert van Duin
Description: 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.
Copyright: http://www.astrobin.com/users/Albert_van_Duin/
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