Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Astronomers snap pic of giant eye floating through space

You know what they (Nietzsche) say about staring into a void; stare long enough and it will stare back.  Well, scientists staring into the constellation Aquarius from the Wide Field Imager at the European Space Organization's La Silla Observatory (Chile) found this great, lidless eye staring back at them…

Pretty spectacular.
  It's known as the "Helix planetary nebula." And it's huge.  This thing is 700 light years away, but it occupies a space in the sky a quarter the size of the full moon.  (ESO)  The structure has been expanding at 62,000 miles per hour for about 12,000 years, with a star buring around 216,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Pretty spectacular.

(image ESO)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.