Eye of God

While hunting around for images to put under the latest Soren Says title, I came across the image you’ll find under the title above. The diagram I actually put there is fun, but this is incredibly beatiful – try to imagine what it must have been like to be the first to see this through a telescope. Too bad it’s a fake. I guess there are a number of these photographic natural wonders going around, some of which are collected at the About.com site where I found these. Not all of them, however. This picture of a forest fire in the Bitterroot National Forest of Montana is the real thing, evidently.


  1. The Ironic Catholic says

    very cool!

  2. Rufus McCain says

    This is an authentic photograph — or rather, composite of photos — taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. The image was featured on NASA’s Website as an Astronomy Picture of the Day in May 2003 and thereafter posted on a number of Websites under the title “The Eye of God” (though I have found no evidence that NASA has ever referred to it as such). The awe-inspiring image has also been featured on magazine covers and in articles about space imagery.

    What it actually depicts is the so-called Helix Nebula, described by astronomers as “a trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases.” At its center is dying star which has ejected masses of dust and gas to form tentacle-like filaments stretching toward an outer rim composed of the same material. Our own sun may look like this in several billion years.

    Image Credit: NASA, WIYN, NOAO, ESA, Hubble Helix Nebula Team, M. Meixner (STScI), & T. A. Rector (NRAO).

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