Planetary Nebulae take their name from the way they appear in small aperture telescopes, through which they were discoverd in the 18th century. The first planetary nebulae looked like small gaseous planets. Today, through larger telescopes, and using sensitive CCD cameras, we can discern their structure and colors readily. They are the expanding gas shells of dying stars that are illuminated by the energies released by those stars.

Ring Nebula M57  Dumbell M27  
   
Owl Nebula   Red Eye Nebula  
   
Helix Nebula   Saturn Nebula  
   
NGC 6894  Eskimo Nebula 
   
Ornament Nebula  Spare Tyre Nebula 
   
Medusa  Nebula (Luminance) Medusa Nebula (Color)