Astronomy magazine podcast: Colliding comets in the Helix

Astronomer Kate Su discusses a recent discovery of comet collisions generating massive dust in the Helix Nebula.
By | Published: February 15, 2007 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Helix Nebula
The Helix 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 colorful beauties were named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets like Jupiter.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Ariz.
February 15, 2007
Comets are colliding and kicking up dust around a dead star, according to new observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The dead star lies at the Helix Nebula’s center, a shimmering cloud of gas with an eerie resemblance to a giant eye.

In this week’s podcast, Kate Su, lead author of a paper on this discovery, discusses what’s going on in the Helix.

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