A curve which lies on a cylinder or cone, so that its angle to a plane perpendicular to the axis is constant.
From L. helix "spiral," from Gk. helix (genitive helikos), related to eilein "to turn, twist, roll."
Picâr "that which twists," from pic, present stem of picidan "to twist, entwine, coil" + -ar agent noun suffix (on the model of parastâr, padidâr, dustâr, xâstâr).
Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)
Fr.: Nébuleuse de l'Hélice
A large and bright → planetary nebula in the constellation → Aquarius. Its apparent diameter is about half the size of the full Moon, corresponding to about 2.5 → light-years for a distance of about 700 light-years. It is the nearest bright planetary nebulae to Earth and one of the most spectacular examples of such objects. The Helix Nebula possibly consists of at least two separate disks with outer rings and filaments. The brighter inner disk seems to be expanding at about 100,000 km/h and to have taken about 12,000 years to form. High-resolution observations of the inner edge of the Helix's main ring have revealed thousands of cometary knots of gas with faint tails extending away from the central star. The knots have masses similar to the Earth, but are typically the size of our Solar system. The comet-like shape of the knots results from the steady evaporation of gas from the knots, produced by the strong winds and ultraviolet radiation from the central star of the nebula.The origin of the knots is currently not well understood.