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Space The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NASA Astronomy Picture Of The Day
    The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory


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    The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory
    Credit: WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla Obs., ESO

    Explanation: Will our Sun look like this one day? The Helix Nebula is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud 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 700 light-years away towards the constellation of Aquarius and spans about 2.5 light-years. The above picture was taken by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter Telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows complex gas knots of unknown origin.



    (Via NASA)
     

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