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Helix Nebula by NASA Spitzer Telescope

The truth behind the NASA Spitzer space telescope discovery of the planetary Helix Nebula NGC 7293 or Eye of God can be found at Christ-Centered Mall.

Helix Nebula

Helix Nebula

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Scripture Reference

"Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou."

-- Job 35:5

Helix Nebula Story

Planetary Nebula

The Helix Nebula, also known as NGC 7293 or the "Eye of God" by some amateur astronomers, is the exploded remains of a white dwarf star which at one time looked a lot like our sun.

This planetary nebula (discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding before the year 1824) is located about 650 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. Although it is just one of over 1,500 planetary nebulae known to exist in our Milky Way Galaxy, it is one the closest and largest appearing planetary nebula to earth.

Planetary nebulae are glowing interstellar clouds of dust, hydrogen gas, and plasma formed by certain types of stars at the end of their lives. They were so named in the 18th century because, through small telescopes, these gas clouds had round disk-like shapes similar to distant planets such as Uranus or Neptune.

When viewing the infrared image taken from NASA's Spitzer space telescope, please note the tiny dot in the center of the picture. That is what is left of the dead white dwarf star. The red color around the star denotes the final layers of expelled gas and dust blown out when the star died. However, before it died, the light from this star glowed so intensely that it caused this expelled gas to fluoresce into what appears to be a twisted shape much like a spring, screw, or spiral (helical) staircase. Hence, we get this nebula's helix name.

Truly, the heavens continue to declare the glory of God, and the Helix Nebula is no exception. God is the One Who "alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number" (Job 9:8-10). Man has hardly even begun to discover the wonders of God which are revealed throughout the universe.

Infrared Helix Nebula photograph, taken by NASA's Spitzer space telescope in 2007, courtesy of Getty Images, Inc.
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Helix Nebula by NASA Spitzer Telescope

An informative news story regarding the planetary Helix Nebula known as the Eye of God can found in the science section on the Christ-Centered Mall Headline News page.