Planetary nebula Cat’s Eye

(ORDO NEWS) — To create the image published on January 8, 2001, the following were used:

  • X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra space observatory;
  • Optical data from the NASA Hubble Space Telescope.

Purple shows areas containing hot gas, while red and green colors show cooling and cold gas.

The central “core” of the nebula, surrounded by blue-white clouds of hot gas, is a binary star system. This pair of stars is located at a relatively small distance from each other, which leads to a continuous exchange of material.

When the substance of a companion falls on the surface of one of the stars, a very violent reaction begins, leading to powerful emissions that interact with the surrounding gas.

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