Gases near a dying star in the Helix Nebula. This nebula is located in the Aquarius constellation. Each knot of gas is several billion miles across. Credit: C. Robert O'Dell and Kerry P. Handron [Rice University], NASA.
The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish physicist and Christian minister. The origin of the word kaleidoscope speaks to the splendid images. Kaleidoscope finds its roots in the Greek word kalos meaning beautiful, the Indo-european eidos that means form, and scope that is Greek for to see.