Eye of God Photo
The Helix Nebula
NGC 7293

Eye of God
Eye of God
Item# H0311
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Product Description

Also known as the Eye of God

Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is the closest example of a planetary nebula created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The outer gasses of the star expelled into space appear from our vantage point as if we are looking down a helix.

The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce.

The Helix Nebula, given a technical designation of NGC 7293, lies about 650 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans about 2.5 light-years. The above picture is a composite of newly released images from the ACS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope and wide-angle images from the Mosaic Camera on the 0.9-m Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows complex gas knots of unknown origin.


See Spitzer's Helix Nebula.



Credit: HST, Text: APOD