This photograph of the coil-shaped Helix Nebula, NGC 7296, is one of the largest and most detailed celestial images ever made.
The composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation's 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz.
The image shows a fine web of filamentary "bicycle-spoke" features embedded in the colorful red and blue ring of gas. At 650 light-years away, the Helix is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth. A planetary nebula is the glowing gas around a dying, Sun-like star.
Hubble Helix Nebula Team : M Meixner STScI : T A Rector NRAO
Image Credit : NASA NOAO ESA