*text from back of card* - The Helix Nebula is the result of a dying star that collapsed and ejected much of its gases into the shell that we see in this photo. Celestial objects such as this are called planetary nebulae because they looked like faint planetary disks in the small telescopes of early astronomers. The Helix is one of the closest planetary nebula to Earth lying 650 light years away, but there are thousands of them found throughout our galaxy.
|actual size is 5"x7"
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This remarkable photo is a seamless blend of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation's .9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Some call this beautiful celestial object "The Eye of God".
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