Cat's Eye Nebula

Enhanced Color

UV, visible, IR light
Black-and-White Images Taken of Filtered Light

Cat's Eye - b/wCat's Eye - b/wCat's Eye - b/w

Colors Assigned to Black-and-White Images

Cat's Eye - blueCat's Eye - greenCat's Eye - red

Final Image After Combining the Colored Images

Cat's Eye - full color

Learn More About This Image

Enhanced Color:
Cat's Eye Nebula

The Catís Eye Nebula consists of glowing gases ejected into outer space by a dying star. Individual chemical elements in the nebula emit light at very specific wavelengths.

The three black-and-white images used to construct this image represent light from hydrogen atoms, oxygen atoms, and nitrogen ions (nitrogen atoms with one electron removed).

All three images correspond to different shades of red light, so we enhanced the color differences to make the nebulaís delicate structures more obvious.

In this case, light from hydrogen atoms is shown in red, light from oxygen is shown in blue, and light from nitrogen is shown in green.

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