As signature subhead reverse@2x
Stars and stellar evolution
Helix Nebula

Helix Nebula, NGC 7293


Planetary nebula


10,000 years


Found in the constellation Aquarius

Distance from Earth

650 light-years


The nebula spans a distance of 2.5 to 3 light-years across.

A look into the Helix nebula's trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases

Enlarge Image


"Fast Facts: Helix Nebula" is a table that lists the name, location, size, and distance of this planetary nebula from Earth. A picture of the nebula is included.

Printer-friendly web page
Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A mapping activity. Locate the nebula's associated constellation on a star map.

A large-number recognition activity. Have students look at several Fast Fact tables, including this one. Ask them to place the objects described in the Fast Fact tables in order, starting with the object closest to Earth and ending with the one farthest away.

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Iridescent Glory of Nearby Planetary Nebula Showcased on Astronomy Day"

Amazing Space resources by topic: Stars and stellar evolution