More Amazing Facts and Information About the Cat’s Eye Nebula
Here are some more interesting facts and information:
1. It has a very complex structure. Scientists suspect that the nebula’s central part consists of the remains of a double star system.
2. According to observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope, the nebula’s central part consists of the remains of the dying star – an extremely hot, exposed core of the star. It glows because of the ultraviolet radiation from the star's core. Sooner or later, the central’s star’s core will contract and form a white dwarf.
3. A series of concentric rings have been observed outside the nebula’s bright inner part. The formation of the gaseous rings is due to the emission of the outer gaseous layers of the dying star. The concentric rings are spaced evenly and the total mass of the rings is 0.1 solar masses. The gases that formed the rings were emitted in a series of pulses. They were ejected at regular intervals, with each pulsation occurring every 1,500 years. The first ejection occurred approximately around 15,000 years ago and the last around 1,000 years ago.
4. The photo to your right shows that one side of the nebula is similar to the other. This symmetry could have been caused by two jets gases that ejected from the opposite vicinities of the star’s core.
5. The Cat’s Eye Nebula will be visible until the gases disperse into space. However, the gases will dissipate into space over the course of 10,000 years. Until then, we can surely marvel at the beauty of this alluring cosmic eye.