Double Helix Nebula
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Double Helix Nebula

March 16, 2006
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 false-color image was taken by the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS).

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