This absolutely gorgeous image from the European Southern Observatory reveals a planetary nebula, the short-lived phenomenon between the death of a star and birth of a white dwarf that has nothing to do with planets.
We recently discussed the peculiar nomenclature of planetary nebulae, so let's just focus on the general awesomeness of this image, which was taken by the VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The Helix Nebula is located about 700 light-years from Earth, and its scale is absolutely enormous, clocking it at over four light-years across. To put that in perspective, do you see each of those strands of hydrogen gas that make up the nebula's ring? Yeah...each of those is the size of our solar system.