It's one of the most iconic celestial images in astronomy — the eye-like Helix Nebula. Ironically, the incredibly harsh conditions within this dying Sun-like star are producing a molecule integral for the formation of water, a process that could be repeated across the cosmos.
In a few billion years, our dear Sun will look like this, a beautiful glowing eye of spent starstuff trash in the shape of Sauron's Eye. And no ring is going to save us from this one.
This absolutely gorgeous image from the European Southern Observatory reveals a planetary nebula, the short-lived phenomenon between the death of a star and birth of a white dwarf that has nothing to do with planets.
The United States' independence day is over for the year, but a new image of one of Earth's cosmic neighbors reveals an explosive spectacle. One of the closest nebulae to us displays dramatic firework-like knots when viewed in the infrared.
A planetary system seems to have survived the death of its star, judging photos released last August from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The Helix Nebula, 700 light years from Earth, is the unraveling remains of a star not unlike our sun. It's also one of the few nebulae to show any evidence of bodies that survived…