Eye of God Nebula

Eye of God Nebula

Acrylic on canvas, 32″ x 41″

The Eye of God Nebula, as it is dubbed, is actually called the Helix Nebula, NGC 7293, or Caldwell 63.  The star responsible for this gaseous emission represented here as visible light has surpassed its red giant phase.  Our Sun will also reach the red giant phase and create a nebula similar to this one.  All the planets in our solar system will be engulfed in it as the Sun gradually becomes a white dwarf.

Nebulae are made of colourless gas and dust.  The visible colours we see in Hubble Telescope pictures are emissions from these gasses.  For example, hydrogen gas is responsible for the red colour.  Some non-visible details are gathered through filters– as UV or infrared– to reveal other information about their structure in great detail.

The “Eye of God” or Helix Nebula in the constellation of Aquarius is about 700 light-years away from us (which is quite near relatively speaking), and is 2.5 light-years in radius.


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