August 20, 2009
This NASA image of the Cat's Eye Nebula combines data from two of NASA's space observatories -- the 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. 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.