An impressive image of 100 planetary nebulas from the Hubble Space Telescope, created by artist Judy Schmidt – Geckzilla.
Stars usually create their most artistic displays as they die. Low-mass stars like our Sun and M2-9 (pictured above) Butterfly Nebula, transform themselves from normal stars to white dwarfs by casting off their outer gaseous envelopes. The expanded gas often forms an impressive display called a planetary nebula that fades gradually over thousand of years. Hubble Legacy Archive, NASA, ESA – Processing: Judy Schmidt
The Red Rectangle Nebula, so called because of its red color and unique rectangular shape, is a protoplanetary nebula in the Monoceros constellation. Also known as HD 44179, the nebula was discovered in 1973 during a rocket flight associated with the AFCRL Infrared Sky Survey called Hi Star.
The Pencil Nebula also known as NGC 2736, is pictured in a new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. This peculiar cloud of glowing gas is part of a huge ring of wreckage left over after a supernova explosion that took place about 11 000 years ago. This detailed view was produced by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope.