Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Cat's Eye Nebula

  1. Aug 27, 2013 #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. Aug 27, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    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. Aug 27, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    From wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat's_Eye_Nebula#Age

  5. Sep 11, 2013 #4
    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. Sep 12, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    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.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: The Cat's Eye Nebula
  1. Nebulas and protostars (Replies: 1)

  2. Planetary nebula (Replies: 3)

  3. Ring Nebula (Replies: 5)