click the image above for a larger version (62%)

 

Catalogue and alternative designations Helix nebula, NGC 7293

 

Type Planetary Nebula 
Position 22 29 39, -20 50 14
Constellation Aquarius
Camera and Telescope STXL6303E and 36.8 cm Ritchey Chretien
Focal Ratio F9
Exposure Details A blended combination of 4.5 hours RGB, 5.5 hours hydrogen Alpha and 7.5 hours OIII using Astrodon series 2 filters
Description (Description from Wikipedia) The Helix Nebula, also known as The Helix, NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation Aquarius. Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, probably before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae. The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs or 700 light-years. It is similar in appearance to the Cat's Eye Nebula and the Ring Nebula, whose size, age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial viewing angle. The Helix Nebula has sometimes been referred to as the "Eye of God" in pop culture, as well as the "Eye of Sauron"