EKU Observatory Images


Helix Nebula


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Creation Date



The Helix Nebula is also known as NGC 7293 or, more whimsically, the Eye of Sauron (some call it the Eye of God as well). The term Nebula is from the Latin and simply means "Cloud". The rationale is as follows: in the early days of Astronomical Observation, instruments were less powerful and photography had not been invented yet, so the term was use to indicate the fuzzy appearance of certain objects.

The Helizxi is also called a Planetary Nebula, the term Planetary being another attempt to describe what was seen at the telescope (Planetary nebula: a round, sphere-like fuzzy object).

In reality, a Planetary Nebula has nothing to do with planets at all.