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Planetary Nebulae

A bright, colorful shell of gas and dust surrounding a star in the last stages of life. A planetary nebula is created when the star puffs off its outer atmosphere. The nebula usually looks like a doughnut, sometimes with the small, hot, rapidly evolving star visible in the center. The Ring Nebula (M57) in the constellation Lyra is an example.

Featured Images

ESO 577-24, a planetary nebula

Skinny Corpse January 22, 2019

Saturn Nebula

Complicated Bubble December 7, 2018

Multi-spectral view of the Helix Nebula

Looking Down a Barrel November 14, 2018

M97, the Owl Nebula, in Ursa Major

It's a Hoot March 17, 2018

IC 4406 planetary nebula

Beautiful Demise August 5, 2017

Visible and infrared image of Ring Nebula

Blowing Bubbles June 15, 2017

False-color image of the Boomerang Nebula, which is being created by a dying star

Cold Death June 7, 2017

Universal Chemistry March 6, 2017

NGC 6543, the Cat's Eye Nebula

Pure Artistry April 9, 2016

Planetary nebula known as the Eskimo Nebula

Cyclops? November 29, 2015

Hubble view of NGC 7662, a planetary nebula

Blue Snowball September 30, 2015

The Southern Owl Nebula, the last gasp of a dying star

Perfect Bubble August 5, 2015

Abell 78, a planetary nebula

Last Round July 28, 2015

The system V664 Cassiopeia is creating a planetary nebula

Bread Crumbs July 23, 2015

Cat's Eye Nebula from Hubble Space Telescope

Colorful Demise August 29, 2014

False-color image of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula

Last Gasp July 12, 2014

Dumbbell Nebula, M27

Grand Finale September 24, 2013

Infrared/ultraviolet view of Helix Nebula

Colorful Demise October 23, 2012