Arguably, the Helix nebula photos from the Hubble telescope may be the most stunning deep space photographs astronomers have captured thus far. The nebula, located approximately 700 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius, goes by the name of the Helix Nebula, but it’s also sometimes referred to as the Eye of God. It’s easy to understand why.
This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. Also known by the catalog number NGC 7293, it is a typical example of a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these cosmic works of art were erroneously named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets.
| ESO's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) has captured this unusual view of the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a planetary nebula located 700 light-years away. The coloured picture was created from images taken through Y, J and K infrared filters. While bringing to light a rich background of stars and galaxies, the telescope's infrared vision also reveals strands of cold nebular gas that are mostly obscured in visible images of the Helix.
Helix Nebula - 650 light-years away, in the constellation of Aquarius. Planetary nebulae are actually the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. These stars spend most of their lives turning hydrogen into helium in massive runaway nuclear fusion reactions in their cores. Our sun will blossom into a planetary nebula when it dies in about five billion years.