There Really Is an Eye Watching Us From Space

By Sam Gibbs on at

A new infrared image of the Helix Nebula captured by the European Southern Observatory in Chile looks even more like God’s eye looking down on us. It’s almost creepy in its wondrously beautiful haze of red, orange and yellow.

It looked pretty convincing as an eye in natural light, but in infrared it’s even got striations on its iris surrounding a deep black pupil. It’s pretty close too at only 700 light-years away from Earth, but I’m pretty sure it looks better from where we are.

"This strange object formed when a star like the Sun was in the final stages of its life. Unable to hold onto its outer layers, the star slowly shed shells of gas that became the nebula. It is evolving to become a white dwarf star and appears as the tiny blue dot seen at the centre of the image."

Space might be a cold, unforgiving place that’s currently pretty stormy. But it’s also incredibly beautiful, there’s no doubt. [ESO via Daily Mail]