Sunday, October 7, 2012

Helix Nebula Photo: Giant 'Eye' In Space Spotted By NASA Telescopes



A pair of NASA space telescopes have captured a spectacular new photo of the Helix Nebula, a glowing celestial vision that resembles a giant cosmic eye.
The Helix Nebula (also known as NGC 7293) represents a dying star known as aplanetary nebula. The new picture, released Wednesday (Oct. 3), combines data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which observes in long-wavelength infrared light, and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which picked out the short-wavelength ultraviolet light coming from the object.
The Helix Nebula is located about 650 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius. It provides a sneak peak at the future of our own sun, which is expected to turn into a planetary nebula in about 5 billion years.