Double Helix Nebula
Sig06 004

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Morris (UCLA)

Observation • March 15th, 2005 • sig06-004


The double helix nebula. The spots are infrared-luminous stars, mostly red giants and red supergiants. Many other stars are present in this region, but are too dim to appear even in this sensitive infrared image.

The double helix nebula is approximately 300 light-years from the enormous black hole at the center of the Milky Way. (The Earth is more than 25,000 light-years from the black hole at the galactic center.)

This image was taken by the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS).

About the Object

Double Helix Nebula
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Red Giant
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Red Supergiant
25,000 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 24.0 ┬Ám Spitzer MIPS


Position (J2000)
RA =17h 42m 48.9s
Dec = -28° 31' 42.3"
Field of View
11.7 x 14.1 arcminutes
North is 88.4° right of vertical