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 - M 57  Dumbell - M 27  
   
Owl Nebula - M 97 Red Eye Nebula - NGC 6781
   
Helix Nebula - NGC 7293 Saturn Nebula - NGC 7009
   
NGC 6894  Eskimo Nebula - NGC 2392
   
 NGC 7048  Spare Tyre Nebula - IC 5148
   
Medusa  Nebula (Luminance) Medusa Nebula (Color) 
   
Oyster - NGC 1501 Shapley 1 
   
Little Dumbbell - M 76 Skull Nebula - NGC 246
Cleopatra's Eye - NGC 1535 Ghost of Jupiter - NGC 3242
Cat's Eye - NGC  6543 Butterfly - NGC 2346
Robin's Egg - NGC 1360 Eight Burst - NGC 3132