Halo of the Cat’s Eye TheCat’s Eye Nebula(NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulaein the sky. Its hauntingsymmetriesare seen in the very central region ofthis tantalizing image, processed to reveal the enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, about 6light-yearsacross, which surrounds the brighter, familiarplanetary nebula.
An APEX view of star formation in the Orion Nebula This dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky. The orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. It was observed by the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile.
What's happening at the center of this nebula? Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years. The sharp, composite, color image utilizing data from space and ground based telescopes, follows faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars.