The Helix Nebula
Object Type: Planetary Nebula
Scope: Orion 10" Newtonian
Exposure 27 minutes
The Helix Nebula, also known as The Helix or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation of Aquarius. Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, probably before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae.
The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs or 700 light-years. It is similar in appearance to the Ring Nebula, whose size, age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial viewing angle.
The Helix has often been referred to as the Eye of God on the Internet, since about 2003.