Glint in the Cat's Eye
Glint in the Cat's Eye

This image of the Cat's Eye Nebula was made by combining data from two of NASA's Great Observatories-Chandra and the Hubble Space Telescope. Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed a bright central star surrounded by a cloud of multimillion-degree gas in the planetary nebula known as the Cat's Eye. The intensity of the X-ray emission is correlated to the brightness of the orange coloring. The intensity of X-rays from the central star was unexpected, and this is the first time astronomers have seen such emissions from the central star of a planetary nebula.

Chandra X-ray Observatory is celebrating 10 years of exploring the invisible universe. On Aug. 19, 1999, Chandra captured its first image as an astronomical observatory. This first light image opened a new era for science as Chandra began its mission to open a mysterious universe. Chandra enables scientists from around the world to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of exotic environments to help understand the evolution of the cosmos.

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/UIUC/Y.Chu et al., Optical: NASA/HST

Page Last Updated: March 22nd, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator