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Jon Greif

Location of Photo:

Alpine, CA, USA

Date/Time of photo:

October 26-28, 2023 from 8 pm to 4 am PDT


Takahashi Mewlon 210 mm reflector, ZWO 2600 MM Pro camera, ZWO Hydrogen alpha and Oxygen iii NB filters, Pegasus Astro NYX-101 mount, Williams Optics 50 mm Guidescope, ZWO 174 MM guide camera, NINA capture and Pixinsight processing softwareing.


This is the planetary nebula known as the Cat's Eye (NGC 6543), and was once described by NASA as looking "like the penetrating eye of the disembodied sorcerer Sauron from the film version of The Lord of the Rings." A planetary nebula is the result of a giant star collapsing and ejecting rings of gas, mainly Hydrogen and Helium, and some Oxygen. The Cat's Eye Nebula is located in the Northern constellation Draco, near the North Star (Polaris) at a distance of 3000 light years from Earth. It was discovered by William Herschel on February 15, 1786. This image was shot from our backyard in Alpine over 3 nights last week (during the full moon) using narrow band hydrogen and oxygen filters, and represents nearly 18 hours of exposure time. Processed in H-O-O (as RGB) false color.