Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Helix Nebula

The Helix Nebula is our closest nebulous neighbor, at a mere 650 light-years, roughly three-quarters of the distance from our Sun to the nearest star. With a diameter of nearly 3 light-years and it's close proximity to Earth, it took nine orbits and exposures to capture the entire nebula, which appears to be about one-half the diameter of the moon in our night sky. You are now looking down a Trillion-mile long tunnel of glowing gasses. A beautiful, fluorescing tube pointed directly at Earth. I suggest you take the time to click on it and have a look at the full-size image.
[Composite image courtesy of the folks at NASA, NSF, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mosaic Camera at Kitt Peak National Observatory]

5 comments:

Macoosh said...

its just SO COOL!

The Pirate said...

Isn't it? The images from Hubble are all wonderful, especially it seems, the composites with Mosaic Camera images. Wait till the latest Earth-bound camera comes online-it's images will blow these away:)

Queen of Dysfunction said...

It looks like an eye.

No, but seriously. I see nature and wonder how it is that artists create what they do in the face of such things.

PW said...

It's watching you..

The Pirate said...

Nope, it's mine and it's watching you!