It’s Startling How Much Nebulae Look Like Eyes—Makes You Wonder… (+Photos)
It’s Startling How Much Nebulae Look Like Eyes—Makes You Wonder… (+Photos)
The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory. (WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla Obs., ESO)

The Helix Nebula from La Silla Observatory. (WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla Obs., ESO)

This eye-like cloud of gas is called the Helix Nebula. A star reached the end of its life, blew off most of its material, and this is what is left. The star itself is now a tiny

This eye-like cloud of gas is called the Helix Nebula. A star reached the end of its life, blew off most of its material, and this is what is left. The star itself is now a tiny "white dwarf" in the center of the image. (NASA)

Hourglass Nebula. (NASA)

Hourglass Nebula. (NASA)

Eye of an Hourglass Nebula. (R. Sahai and J. Trauger (JPL), WFPC2 Science Team, NASA)

Eye of an Hourglass Nebula. (R. Sahai and J. Trauger (JPL), WFPC2 Science Team, NASA)

The Glowing Eye Nebula. ( Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Donald Waid)

The Glowing Eye Nebula. ( Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Donald Waid)

Infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet often photographed by amateur astronomers for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ.of Ariz.)

Infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet often photographed by amateur astronomers for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ.of Ariz.)

In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula. NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)

In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula. NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)

These shape-shifting galaxies have taken on the form of a giant mask. The icy blue eyes are actually the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163, and the mask is their spiral arms. The false-color image consists of infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red) and visible data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (blue/green). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/Vassar)

These shape-shifting galaxies have taken on the form of a giant mask. The icy blue eyes are actually the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163, and the mask is their spiral arms. The false-color image consists of infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red) and visible data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (blue/green). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/Vassar)

Three thousand light-years away, the Cat's Eye Nebula, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas. NASA, J. P. Harrington (U. Maryland) and K. J. Borkowski (NCSU)

Three thousand light-years away, the Cat's Eye Nebula, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas. NASA, J. P. Harrington (U. Maryland) and K. J. Borkowski (NCSU)

Cat’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543). (NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA)

Cat’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543). (NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA)

  • rg9rts

    View ports from parallel universes.

  • konspikuous

    Eyes are orbs…the shape of orbs is spherical, and, is governed by physics. Take a super nova star, explode it in all directions, you end up with a formation of dust and gas that has a spherical body.

    And that is where the similarity between eyeballs and some nebulae ends. I say some because, unlike super novae nebulae, a gravitational nebula is the result of particles and gases coming together due to mass doing its thing. They form in random shapes as a result of varied densities and gravitational fields of differing forces that tug gases and particles one way or the other. Made all the more non-spherical when enough mass does happen to come together to form a star. Which, simultaneously draws in matter while pushing other matter further from its center. Get enough stars forming, you end up with ripples of matter overlapping across a very large region. See the Pillars of Creation as example.

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