Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Draco (Dra)  ·  Contains:  IC 4677  ·  NGC 6543  ·  NGC 6552  ·  PK096+29.1
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NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula, 


            David Dearden
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NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Astro-Tech AT8IN

Imaging cameras: Meade DSI II C

Mounts: CG5

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion ShortTube 80 f/5

Guiding cameras: Meade DSI

Software: PHD guiding  ·  photoshop  ·  Noel Carboni's Astro Tools for PhotoShop  ·  AstroPlanner  ·  Stellarium  ·  Nebulosity

Accessory: HB Home-built TEC1-12706 cooler  ·  Orion AccuFocus

Dates:Aug. 6, 2012

Frames: 29x300" (2h 25')

Integration: 2h 25'

Avg. Moon age: 19.15 days

Avg. Moon phase: 79.78%

Astrometry.net job: 279128

RA center: 17h 58' 41"

DEC center: +66° 36' 53"

Pixel scale: 2.125 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 2.444 degrees

Field radius: 0.299 degrees

Resolution: 784x644

Locations: Mapleton Lateral Observatory, Mapleton, Utah, United States


Found the Cat's Eye visually by matching the ocular field in Stellarium to what I was seeing in the camera. The nebula and the "next door" star, plus another fairly bright star to the northeast (above left in my view) were what I keyed on. At least initially, conditions are superb except for a few high clouds. Getting excellent guiding performance tonight. I'm balanced east-heavy for sure and guiding Dec north only. Cooler is at 15 °C. Excellent guiding conditions with little wind for most of this run. Processed pretty extensively to get this image and particularly to make the outer halo show up. I consider this one of the more difficult objects I've tried to capture so far.

Date: 6 Aug 2012

Subject: NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula

Scope: AT8IN

Filter: none

Mount: CG-5 (Synta motors)

Guiding: Orion ST80 + 0.5x Antares telereducer + DSI Ic + PHD

Camera: DSI IIc

Acquisition: Nebulosity 3.1.0

Exposure: 29x300 s + 5x60s (core)

Stacking: Neb 3, bias included, normalize first, trans+rot align, 1.5 SD stack

Processing: crop, color balance, levels & curves, GreyCStoration in N3. Astronomy Tools color blotch, deep space, space noise reduction, levels to darken; layer mask an un-darkened hide-all layer on top with Gaussian blur; flatten & saturation boost all in CS5. Also, AT "enhance DSO & reduce stars" & more saturation boost.



  • Final
    NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula, 


            David Dearden
  • NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula, 


            David Dearden

Sky plot

Sky plot


NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula, 


            David Dearden