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cat’s eye nebula

images by the Hubble and the Nordic Optical Telescope reveal the surrounding gas structures of the Cat’s Eye Nebula, left and in detail, right.

The so-called Cat’s Eye Nebula, formally catalogued NGC 6543, is one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen in space. A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers to form bright nebulae with amazing twisted shapes.

link to ESA for info and hi-res images