Helix Nebula • NGC 7293
Observers: Giovanni Fazio and Joe Hora
The death of this star may give us a glimpse at our Sun's future. Its gravity was not strong enough to hold onto its outer atmosphere when it expanded into a red giant phase. Stellar winds from its leftover core blew the rings of gas away. While that core - a white dwarf star - is not visible in this image, it is located in the empty center of the "eye".