A lot of people are confident that cats are the cutest creatures in the Universe, and who are we to contradict them? Besides, guess what? There’s scientific evidence out there that even the Universe itself agrees with the claim. The so-called Cat’s Eye Nebula proves that those furry little felines that we all love might be more important than we thought.
Who knows, maybe cats also exist elsewhere in our Universe except our planet. Jokes aside, for now! NASA’s new Picture of the Day for May 25 reveals a breathtaking photo of the Cat’s Eye Nebula, which is located over 3,200 light-years away from Earth. The nebula was discovered way back in the 18th century by William Herschel.
Welcome, NGC 6543!
NGC 6543 is also a moniker for the Cat’s Eye Nebula. Name it as you wish! The cosmic structure is indeed mesmerizing, and NASA proves it once again through its new photo! Take a look for yourself:
oooh today's #apod is a good one! A more zoomed-out view of the Cat's Eye Nebula than we're used to seeing. Fascinating to think that our own Sun will someday put on a show like this! #ThursdayThoughts #space #astronomy https://t.co/XjRuxrtPvF pic.twitter.com/cr9HwKFyid
— Dr. Amber Straughn (she/her/hers) (@astraughnomer) May 25, 2023
The nebula in question beckons from the depths of the Draco constellation. The celestial gem stands out with its compact form, boasting a minuscule radius spanning about 0.2 light years. Its shape, resembling a resplendent cosmic eye, can captivate the imagination of anyone. Though it exudes a subtle radiance, with an apparent magnitude of 9.8, keen observers armed with modest telescopes or binoculars can unlock its secrets.
Resting at a staggering distance of roughly 3,262 light years from Earth, the ephemeral glow of the nebula enchants those who venture to behold it. Guided by the celestial coordinates of RA 17h 58m 33s and Dec +66° 38′ 0″, it reveals itself amidst the tapestry of stars. The absolute magnitude (V) of the nebula oscillates between the range of -0.2+0.8 and -0.6B, unveiling its innate luminosity at a standardized distance of 10 parsecs (32.6 light-years).
Feel free to tell us in the comment section what you think about the Cat’s Eye Nebula!