The Helix is a tube-shaped planetary nebula, an expanding shell of gas around a dying star. This Hubble image stares straight into the barrel of the tube.
Text explains the Helix Nebula's appearance and gives general information on planetary nebula formation.
Included is an inquiry-based classroom activity that focuses on the image and text.
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the colorful aftermath of the death of a Sun-like star: a planetary nebula. Text describes how this planetary nebula may have formed, and provides key word definitions as well as fast facts. Includes a classroom activity.
Teachers can use this lithograph as:
An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the image side of the lithograph. Ask them to write down any questions they have about the image. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:
A content reading tool. Have students read the back of the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.
An example of a planetary nebula. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity called "In Search of Planetary Nebulae" that is included with the PDF lithograph.
HubbleSite press release: "Iridescent Glory of Nearby Planetary Nebula Showcased on Astronomy Day"
Amazing Space resources by topic: Stars and Stellar Evolution