"This 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.
"The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these cosmic butterflies were named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets.
"In Spitzer's infrared view of the Helix nebula, the eye looks more like that of a green monster's. Infrared light from the outer gaseous layers is represented in blues and greens. The white dwarf is visible as a tiny white dot in the center of the picture. The red color in the middle of the eye denotes the final layers of gas blown out when the star died."