3D model of Cat´s Eye Nebula wins “First Award” at ISEF

3D model of Cat´s Eye Nebula wins “First Award” at ISEF

The image on the right is a NASA/ESA HST image of NGC6543, Ryan´s volumetric model is on the left.

High school student Ryan Clairmont from San Diego´s Canyon Crest Academy (USA), wins “First Award” in the Physics & Astronomy category at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) with his project “Evolution of the Cat’s Eye Nebula revealed through morpho-kinematic and hydrodynamical modelling”.

To recreate this intriguing nebula, which also bears the scientific name “NGC 6543”, Ryan employed the ShapeX software developed by astrophysicists at the Institute of Astronomy (UNAM, Mexico) and the University of Calgary (Canada).

With his volumetric morpho-kinematic and hydrodynamic modelling he reached new scientific conclusions about the events that led to the complex structure of the nebula. Ryan used his own backyard telescope and spectrograph to obtain overall density information for the nebula. For the detailed modelling Ryan used images from the Hubble Space Telescope as a reference. To further constrain the spatial information along the line of sight, kinematic spectroscopy data were necessary. These were obtained from the “Kinematic Catalogue of Planetary Nebulae” (KinCatPN) published by the San Pedro Mártir National Astronomical Observatory in Baja California (Mexico) .

For details on the science check out Ryan´s virtual project board at ISEF (registration required).