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Contains:  NGC 6543, IC 4677
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Cat's Eye Nebula :  2 year project, 


            Josh Smith
Cat's Eye Nebula :  2 year project

Cat's Eye Nebula : 2 year project

Technical card

Resolution: 2441x1529

Astrodon 5nm H-alpha: 97x1800"
Astrodon 5nm H-alpha: 421x2"
Astrodon 5nm H-alpha: 110x30"
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-series: 65x30"
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-series: 64x300"
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-series: 111x30"
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-series: 67x300"
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-series: 105x30"
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-series: 59x300"
Luminance: 600x1"
Luminance: 200x30"
Luminance: 217x300"
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 84x1800"
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 417x2"
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 78x30"

Integration: 130.6 hours job: 1079133

RA center: 269.806 degrees

DEC center: 66.624 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.544 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -174.926 degrees

Field radius: 0.218 degrees


Whew! It is finally over. Not sure if I will do one of these again, but my favorite target in the night sky is the Cat's Eye Nebula and I thought it deserved my utmost attention. After getting a good head start last spring, I just decided to park on it nearly every clear night I was at home whether it was for an hour at the end of the night this spring or an hour for the beginning of the night last fall. There were quite a few nights where it was all I shot as well. By the image details, you can see that my goal was to get as much range as possible in this image including the super bright core which is 10000 times brighter than the extremely faint outer Ha regions and somewhere in between are the concentric shells surrounding the bright core. It took exposures of all different filters and lengths to reach the full range of this target.

The total acquisition time ended up being somewhat inflated due to the horrible lp in Pittsburgh and my new house in Florida as I wanted to make sure I had a very nice and deep sky background as well to complement all the work that went into the Cat's Eye. This took a lot of broadband data!

To some extent, I'm not thrilled with the picture as the Cat's Eye itself isn't quite as clean as I'd hoped for. However, it's not so much how clean it was as how overpowering the signal was that was surprising. It made it very tough to emphasize the delicate features while showing the full extent of the emission data. It was a very delicate balance and now that I've finished, I'm still pretty pleased. This was a good exercise in viewing the power of stacking and SNR buildup as well as the disappointment of diminishing returns. The quality is clearly far superior to last year when I was at 30 hours but certainly not 4x better.

I certainly have my new home in Florida to thank for making this project possible. The weather has been astounding this spring with night after night of clear and steady skies. I suspect our astronomy season is drawing to a close, but I'll be ready to hit the ground running again next winter :)

As always, thank you so much for viewing and any C&C's you have are very much appreciated!

Version A: GIF of channels and data acquisition

Version B: Final HaOIIILRGB picture



Josh Smith
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • Cat's Eye Nebula :  2 year project, 


            Josh Smith
  • Final
    Cat's Eye Nebula :  2 year project, 


            Josh Smith

Sky plot

Sky plot


Cat's Eye Nebula :  2 year project, 


            Josh Smith