How to Find Caldwell 6, The Cat's Eye Nebula

How to Find Caldwell 6, The Cat's Eye Nebula


First discovered by William Herschel on February 15th 1786 this planetary nebula is a real gem of the night sky. It sits 3300 light years from us and contains some mysteries that remain unexplained today. The dying star appears to have ejected its material to form the nebula at intervals of a few hundred to a few thousand years. This pattern of ejection remains unexplained today. Although, only one central star is observed another mystery is that the pattern of ejection has lead to the theory of a binary star system, but the second star has not been observed.

Image credit: NASA/ESA

Telescopic Image to Scale:


This image is the size of a full moon for size comparison.

Other Names:

Caldwell 6


NGC 6543

Cat Eye Nebula


Magnitude = 8.3

Surface brightness = 5.5

Telescope Aperture City Suburbs Rural Dark Sky
4 inches 9 10 11 12.5
5 inches 9.5 10.5 11.5 13
6 inches 10 11 12 13.5
8 inches 10.5 11.5 12.5 14
10 inches 11 12 13 14.5

Use this chart to estimate if you can see the object from your location with your telescope. For more help on using this chart click here.

How to Find It:

You can find this Caldwell object by using the Draco constellation and it is in the crosshairs on the image below.  It's co-ordinates are: RA 17h 58m 33.03 DEC +66° 38′ 04.1″ if you are using guiding software.

How to find Caldwell 6, the cat's eye nebula


o find more space objects have a look at the constellation guide by clicking the link or go back to the list of deep space objects.

 Privacy policy and cookies | Disclaimer | Contact Us | Credits | Resources | Site Map © 2012-2014