Iridescent Glory of Nearby Helix NebulaBecause the Helix Nebula is nearby, it appears as nearly one-half the diameter of the full Moon. This required Hubble Space telescope (HST) astronomers to take several exposures with the Advanced Camera for Surveys to capture most of the nebula. HST views were then blended with a wider photo taken by the Mosaic Camera. The portrait offers a dizzying look down what is actually a trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases. The fluorescing tube is pointed nearly directly at Earth, so it looks more like a bubble than a cylinder. A forest of thousands of comet-like filaments, embedded along the inner rim of the nebula, points back toward the central star, which is a small, super-hot white dwarf.
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Uploaded: 29th March 2019
Dimensions: 7680x4320 (8K UltraHD)