Thursday, 26 Feb, 2009 Science

The Eye of God Watches Our Tiny Planet from 700 Light Years Away


Being 700 light years away the "eye of God" is watching our tiny planet from the black of the space. The "eye of God" is the name that scientists gave to this image.

The picture resembles the features of an eye with blue pupil, pink lid as well as the white of the eye, which in fact represent layers of gas and dust that were thrown off and then illuminated by the star while it approaches to the end of its life.

A giant telescope on the Chilean mountains was the one to take the incredible masterpiece of the universe. The image illustrates the death throes of a start which looks similar to our sun. Scientists consider that the start will last for only several thousands of years.

Scientists call this blue eye the Helix nebula. It can be found in the constellation Aquarius. Amateur astronomers can see the "eye" through their backyard telescopes. It covers a part of the sky the size of a quarter of a full moon.

It is so big that a beam of light should take 2.5 years to cross it. The same fate awaits our sun, but it won't be soon - according to astronomers at least 5 billion years.

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