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Eye of God

Taken by: Bob Finnigan and Lee Green
Date: 9/22/2011
Exposure: 30 each minutes in HaLRGB

The Helix Nebula is a large planetary nebula thought to be approximately 700 light years away making this one of the nearest in its class of intricate and colorful celestial objects. The concentric rings resembling a "helix" structure result from our vantage point along the axis of the eruption of the dying central star. The star is still quite visible as it heats the gasses in the central blue region.