The Cat's Eye Nebula

  1. I'm just learning about space. The Cat's Eye nebula looks very energetic at the core.


    I can see what looks like plasma firing off chaotically from the center star.

    If this was video footage, would what we see in this still Hubble photo move rapidly (like solar flares seen in footage from our Sun), or would the said video footage be static?
  2. jcsd
  3. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    The nebula formed in a timescale of 1000 years, and has a diameter of several light years now. To observe changes, you have to wait years. A video would be completely pointless - and I think this image was a long-term observation anyway (= light was collected for a significant amount of time, minutes or even hours).
  4. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    From wiki here:'s_Eye_Nebula#Age

  5. One side of the explosion has the exact shape as the other but in reverse. How can a 1k yr old explosion that's several light years in diameter do that? You'd think it would be a gradient, uniformed explosion considering the immense size. Even the plasma looking 'blue' center has defined shapes similar to water refraction seen in swimming pools. That's why I assumed it was once moving faster than when Hubble received the still shot.
  6. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    Why does it look surprising that an explosion can have a symmetry, without having a full spherical symmetry?
    Note that stars always have an axis of rotation - they are not spherically symmetric, but they have two equivalent sides.
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