NGC 6543: The Cat’s Eye Nebula
A planetary nebula in the constellation of Draco, it is one of the most complex nebulae known, with high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope observations revealing remarkable structures such as knots, jets, bubbles and sinewy arc-like features. (X) In the center of the Cat’s Eye there is a bright and hot star; around 1000 years ago this star lost its outer envelope, producing the nebula. It was discovered by William Herschel on February 15, 1786, and was the first planetary nebula whose spectrum was investigated by the English amateur astronomer William Huggins in 1864. The results of the latter investigation demonstrated for the first time that planetary nebulae consist of hot gases, not stars.