Astronomy Picture of the Day
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Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional
Today's Picture: June 28, 1995
The Cat's Eye Nebula
Picture Credit: NASA, Hubble Space Telescope
Three thousand light years away, a dying star throws off shells of glowing
gas. This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals "The Cat's Eye Nebula"
to be one of the most complex "planetary nebulae" known. In fact, the
features seen in this image are so complex that astronomers
suspect the visible central star may actually be a double star system.
The term planetary nebula, used to describe this general class of
objects, is misleading. Although these objects may appear round and
planet-like in small telescopes, high resolution images reveal them to
be stars surrounded by cocoons of gas blown off in the late stages of
Next APOD Featuring this Image:
July 4, 1996
For more information see
NASA Space Telescope Scientific Institute press release.
Tomorrow's picture: The Earth - Moon System
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