Eye of God

Spectacular photo of a "cosmic eye" peering down from space.

The object, nicknamed the "Eye of God," is the Helix planetary nebula, a giant shell of gas given off by a dying star, according to The Times of London. The nebula lies 700 light years away in the constellation Aquarius.

Its brilliant colors are created as gas released from the star's surface burst out and are illuminated by ultraviolet light, according to The Register, an online technical publication.

The image was captured on February 26, 2009 with a giant telescope at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile.