Astro-Images | Sextet and Cat’s Eye

If you are interested, visit the gallery of my previous images at this link.


NGC 6027

Also known as the Seyfert Sextet, five members of this group of six galaxies is receding from us at nearly the same velocity of more than 4000 km/s. The sixth member is receding at almost 20000 km/s suggesting it is not a gravitationally bound member of the group. Instead, it is likely coincidently aligned and is much farther away that the others.

The small image at the left shows each member of the Sextet and their redshift velocities. In time, the five bound neighbors will merge into one larger diffuse elliptical galaxy. The farther member will remain undisturbed. Note the large number of very small images of other galaxies scattered about which are not part of the Sextet.

From original grayscales | Hubble Legacy Archive | J. Ruebush

From original grayscales | Hubble Legacy Archive | J. Ruebush

NGC 6543

The Cat’s Eye Nebula is estimated to be only about 1000 yrs old. It might have been a binary of two stars orbiting in close proximity. The center of the image shows a remnant white dwarf star, common to other nebulae. It is too small to resolve whether there are two. It is about 3000 light years away. The complex structure twists around the central star(s) due to the rotation of the binary as it expelled the gases during the last stages of the stellar life cycle.

From original grayscales | Hubble Legacy Archive | J. Ruebush

From original grayscales | Hubble Legacy Archive | J. Ruebush


14 thoughts on “Astro-Images | Sextet and Cat’s Eye

  1. That cat’s eye nebula does look remarkably like the cat’s eye marbles I had as a kid. They were the prettiest ones I had, except for the old Venetian glass. Now I need to go wake up the cat and take a better look at her eyes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m confused about one thing regarding the Seifert Sextet, Jim. The four largest galaxies (largest by image) have a fuzzy appearance but the other two, velocities 19813 and 4482, have the appearance I would expect. Is the fuzziness from gas?


    • When a train goes by blaring a horn, you hear a higher frequency (shorter sound waves) on approach and a lower frequency (longer sound waves) as it moves away. The shift of wavelengths of the sound is called Doppler Shift. The amount of shift in wavelength can tell the speed of the moving object.

      It works the same for light waves. Objects moving away from us have longer waves of light than if they were sitting still with respect to us. Their light is the wavelengths of Hydrogen and Helium, etc. The longer wavelengths can be easily measured. The Doppler Shift (redshift) tells us their velocity.

      Thanks for that good question. I hope I explained it ok for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. more than interesting: simply fascinating, thanx, Jim! glad to have come across your awesome blog, my very best and have a serene weekend! cheers, Mélanie – Toulouse, FRANCE, “old Europe”… 🙂


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