Planetary Nebulae

Planetary nebulae actually have nothing to do with planets. They are spherical shells of gas given off by stars like our sun as they near the end of their lives. In the crude telescopes of the 18th century, these objects appeared as small, featureless disks, much like the outer planets of our solar system. Hence the name. Click on any thumbnail image or the Enlarge button to see the full-size image and a description of the object. Place the mouse cursor over any words highlighted in green for more information. For mobile device users, all the highlighted terms are listed under the Glossary tab.

Dumbbell Nebula
Ring Nebula
Owl Nebula
Helix Nebula
Cat's Eye Nebula
Cat's Eye Nebula
Blue Snowball
NGC 1501
NGC 7008
NGC 7009
NGC 6905
IC 1747
IC 1747
NGC 246
NGC 6781
Little Dumbbell
Abell 39
Soap Bubble Nebula
Soap Bubble Nebula (wide-field)
Abell 72
NGC 40
NGC 1514
Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392)
Abell 21 (Medusa Nebula)