posted: 1 HOUR 44 MINUTES AGO
(Feb. 26) - Astronomers
have taken a spectacular photo of a "cosmic eye" peering down from
The object, nicknamed
the "Eye of God," is the Helix planetary nebula, a giant shell of gas given off
by a dying star, according to The Times of London. The nebula lies
700 light years away in the constellation Aquarius. Skip
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Its brilliant colors
are created as gas released from the star's surface burst out and are
illuminated by ultraviolet light, according to The Register, an online technical
The image was captured
with a giant telescope at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile.
Although the Helix is
one of the closest planetary nebulae to Earth, it is difficult to spot because
its light fans over a wide area.