List of planetary nebulae

The following is an incomplete list of known planetary nebulae.

Northern Hemisphere

Image Name Messier Catalogue[a] NGC[a] Other designation[a] Date discovered[a] Distance (kly)[a][b] Apparent magnitude (visual)[a] Constellation[a]
NGC6751 Glowing Eye
or Dandelion Puffball
NGC 6751 6.5 11.9 Aquila
NGC 6210 HST NGC 6210 4.7 9.3 Hercules
Ngc40 Bow-Tie Nebula NGC 40 1788 3.5 11.4 Cepheus
Ngc3242b Ghost of Jupiter NGC 3242 1785 1.4 8.6 Hydra
NGC 6826HSTFull Blinking Planetary NGC 6826 2.0 8.8 Cygnus
M27 - Dumbbell Nebula Dumbbell Nebula M27 NGC 6853 1764 1.36 +0.16
7.5 Vulpecula
M57 The Ring Nebula Ring Nebula M57 NGC 6720 1779 2.3 +1.5
9 Lyra
Ngc2392 Eskimo Nebula NGC 2392 1787 2.9
10.1 Gemini
NGC6543 Cat's Eye Nebula NGC 6543 1786 3.3 ± 0.9 9.8B Draco
Littleghostnebula Little Ghost Nebula NGC 6369 1800
(prior to)
9.9 Ophiuchus
Medusa nebula Medusa Nebula Abell 21 1955 1.0
15.99 Gemini
NGC 7027HSTFull NGC 7027 1878 3.0
10 Cygnus
NGC 7293 Helix Nebula NGC 7293 1824 0.68 +0.15
7.6 Aquarius
M76-RL5-DDmin-Gamma-LRGB 883x628 Little Dumbbell Nebula M76 NGC 650, NGC 651 1780 3.4
10.1 Perseus
M97 Owl Nebula M97 NGC 3587 1781 2.6
9.9 Ursa Major
Planetary Nebula M2-9 Twin Jet Nebula or
Butterfly Nebula
M2-9 1947 2.1 14.7 Ophiuchus
Minkowski 92 Footprint Nebula M1-92 1946 15.0
11.7 Cygnus
NGC2346 Butterfly Nebula NGC 2346 1802 3.9
11.9 Monoceros
Abell 39 Abell 39 1955 6.8
13.7 Hercules
Jones-Emberson1HunterWilson Jones-Emberson 1 / Headphone Nebula PK 164+31.1 1939 1.6
14.0 Lynx
IC3568 Lemon Slice Nebula IC 3568 1918 4.5
12 Camelopardalis
Soap Bubble Nebula Soap Bubble Nebula PN G75.5 1.7 2008 4
IC2149PLN01a IC 2149 1906 3.6 10.6 Auriga
IC 4593 IC 4593 1907 12 10.84 Hercules
IC 4997-HST-R555GB814 IC 4997 8 11 Sagitta
NGC 246 Skull Nebula NGC 246 1785 1.6 8 Cetus
NGC 1501 Oyster Nebula NGC 1501 1787 4.2 13 Camelopardalis
NGC1514 NGC 1514 1790 2.2 9.4 Taurus
NGC2022 NGC 2022 1785 7
12.8 Orion
NGC 2371 NGC 2371 1785 4.3 13 Gemini
NGC 6572 Blue Racquetball / Turquoise Orb NGC 6572 1825 2.5 8.1 Ophiuchus
NGC-6781 NGC 6781 1788 2.5 11.4 Aquila
Ngc6790 (1) NGC 6790 1882 11 10.5 Aquila
NGC 6881 HST NGC 6881 1881 13.8 Cygnus
NGC 6884 NGC 6884 1883 6.5 10.9 Cygnus
NGC 6891 NGC 6891 1884 7.2 10.5 Delphinus
NGC 6905 - VLT(FORS2) - RHaBOIII Blue Flash Nebula NGC 6905 1784 7.5
10.9 Delphinus
N7008s Fetus Nebula NGC 7008 1787 2.7 12 Cygnus
NGC 7662 "Blue Snowball" Blue Snowball Nebula NGC 7662 1784 8.6 Andromeda
Abell78s Abell 78 1966 13 Cygnus
Abell31s Abell 31 1955 2 12.2 Cancer
Kronberger-61 Soccer Ball Nebula Kronberger 61 2011 13 18.4 Cygnus
Abell 12 6.9 Orion

Southern Hemisphere

Image Name Messier Catalogue[a] NGC[a] Other designation[a] Date discovered[a] Distance[a][b] (kly) Apparent magnitude (visual)[a] Constellation[a]
Hen2-47 Hen 2-47 6.6 Carina
NGC6537 Red Spider Nebula NGC 6537 1888
(prior to)
11.9 Sagittarius
NGC 6565 NGC 6565 14 Sagittarius
NGC 6302 Hubble 2009.full Bug Nebula or Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302 1888
(prior to)
3.4 ± 0.5 7.1B Scorpius
NGC 7009 Hubble Saturn Nebula NGC 7009 1782 3.0
8.0 Aquarius
NGC 3132 Eight-burst Nebula or Southern Ring Nebula NGC 3132 1888
(prior to)
9.87 Vela
N2438s-crop NGC 2438 1786 2.9
11.5 Puppis
Retinanebel Retina Nebula IC 4406 1888–1907 2.0
Ngc 2440 NGC 2440 1790 3.6
9.3 Puppis
Spirograph Nebula - Hubble 1999 Spirograph Nebula IC 418 1888–1894 1.3
9.6 Lepus
Stingraynebula Stingray Nebula Hen 3-1357 1989 18
10.75 Ara
NGC 5189 Spiral Planetary Nebula NGC 5189 1835 2.6
9.5 Musca
Menzel 1 - EFOSC.2003-02-04T08 59 53.985 Mz 1 1922 3.4 ± 0.5 12.0 Norma
Ant Nebula Ant Nebula Mz 3 1922 8.0
13.8 Norma
Fine Ring Nebula Shapley 1 PLN 329+2.1 1936 ~1 12.6 Norma
MyCn18-crop Engraved Hourglass Nebula MyCn18 1996 8.0
13.0 Musca
Planetary nebula NGC 3918 NGC 3918 1834 4.9 8.5 Centaurus
The planetary nebula Fleming 1 seen with ESO’s Very Large Telescope.tiff Fleming 1 G290.5+07.9
ESO 170-6
1888? 7.9 13.1 Centaurus
Eso1532a Southern Owl Nebula PN K 1-22
ESO 378-1
1971[1] 4.3[2] 17.4[3] Hydra
IC 4191 IC 4191 1907 11.6 Musca
IC 4634 IC 4634 1893 7.5 11.3 Ophiuchus
IC 4637 IC 4637 1901 7.8 12.5 Scorpius
NGC1360 Planetary Nebula from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter Schulman Telescope courtesy Adam Block Robin's Egg Nebula NGC 1360 1868 1.5
9.4 Fornax
N1535s Cleopatra's Eye NGC 1535 1785 6.5
10.5 Eridanus
NGC 2792 NGC 2792 1835 11.6 Vela
NGC 4361 NGC 4361 1785 3
10.9 Corvus
NGC 5307 NGC 5307 1836 10 11.2 Centaurus
NGC 5315HSTfull NGC 5315 1883 7
9.8 Circinus
NGC 5882 HST NGC 5882 1834 9.4 Lupus
NGC 6309 Box Nebula NGC 6309 1876 11.5 Ophiuchus
NGC 6326 by Hubble Space Telescope NGC 6326 1826 11 12.2 Ara
N6563s NGC 6563 1826 11 Sagittarius
NGC 6629 NGC 6629 1784 11.3 Sagittarius
NGC 6741 Phantom Streak Nebula NGC 6741 1882 7 11 Aquila
Little gem Little Gem Nebula NGC 6818 1787 6 9.3 Sagittarius
Abell36s Abell 36 1955 0.78 Virgo
Hubble Observes Glowing, Fiery Shells of Gas Eye of Sauron Nebula M 1-42 10 Sagittarius
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Table entries are sourced from the individual articles, where available, for each nebula. Please see the linked article on the nebula for references.
  2. ^ a b Many distances are estimates (denoted by the approx. suffix), as true distances are difficult to infer for planetary nebulae. Please see main article, Planetary nebulae, for more details on distance estimates.

See also


  1. ^ Kohoutek, L. (1971). "New planetary nebula". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 13: 493. Bibcode:1971A&A....13..493K.
  2. ^ Jacob, R.; Schönberner, D.; Steffen, M. (2013). "The evolution of planetary nebulae". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 558: A78. arXiv:1307.6189. Bibcode:2013A&A...558A..78J. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201321532. ISSN 0004-6361.
  3. ^ Phillips, J. P. (2005). "The distances of highly evolved planetary nebulae". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 357 (2): 619–625. Bibcode:2005MNRAS.357..619P. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.08676.x. ISSN 0035-8711.
Abell Catalog of Planetary Nebulae

The Abell Catalog of Planetary Nebulae was created in 1966 by George O. Abell and was composed of 86 entries thought to be planetary nebulae that were collected from discoveries, about half by Albert George Wilson and the rest by Abell, Robert George Harrington, and Rudolph Minkowski. All were discovered before August 1955 as part of the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey on photographic plates created with the 48-inch (1.2 m) Samuel Oschin telescope at Mount Palomar. Four are better known from previous catalogs: Abell 50 is NGC 6742, Abell 75 is NGC 7076, Abell 37 is IC 972, and Abell 81 is IC 1454. Another four were later rejected as not being planetaries: Abell 11 (reflection nebula), Abell 32 (red plate flaw), Abell 76 (ring galaxy PGC 85185), and Abell 85 (supernova remnant CTB 1 and noted as possibly such in Abell's 1966 paper). Another three were also not included in the Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae (SEC): Abell 9, Abell 17 (red plate flaw), and Abell 64. Planetaries on the list are best viewed with a large aperture telescope (e.g. 18-inch (0.46 m)) and an OIII filter.

Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Apple Core Nebula, Messier 27, M 27, or NGC 6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1227 light-years. This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. At its brightness of visual magnitude 7.5 and its diameter of about 8 arcminutes, it is easily visible in binoculars, and a popular observing target in amateur telescopes.

Eskimo Nebula

The Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392), also known as the Clownface Nebula or Caldwell 39, is a bipolar double-shell planetary nebula (PN). It was discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1787. The formation resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. It is surrounded by gas that composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star. The visible inner filaments are ejected by a strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual, light-year-long filaments.

NGC 2392 lies more than 2,870 light-years away, and is visible with a small telescope in the constellation of Gemini.

George O. Abell

George Ogden Abell (March 1, 1927 – October 7, 1983) taught at UCLA. He worked as a research astronomer, administrator, as a popularizer of science and of education, and as a skeptic. He earned his B.S. in 1951, his M.S. in 1952 and his Ph.D. in 1957, all from the California Institute of Technology. He was a Ph.D. student under Donald Osterbrock. His astronomical career began as a tour guide at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Abell made great contributions to astronomical knowledge which resulted from his work during and after the National Geographic Society - Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, especially concerning clusters of galaxies and planetary nebulae. A galaxy, an asteroid, a periodic comet, and an observatory are all named in his honor. His teaching career extended beyond the campus of UCLA to the high school student oriented Summer Science Program, and educational television. He not only taught about science but also about what is not science. He was an originating member of the Committee on Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal now known as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

IC 1295

IC 1295 is a planetary nebula in the constellation Scutum, lying 3300 light-years away.

Jones-Emberson 1

Jones-Emberson 1 (PK 164+31.1), also known as the Headphone Nebula, is a 14th magnitude planetary nebula in the constellation Lynx at a distance of 1600 light years. It is a larger planetary with low surface brightness. The 16.8-magnitude central star is a very blue white dwarf.

Lists of astronomical objects

This is a list of lists, grouped by type of astronomical object.

Lists of nebulae

The following articles contain lists of nebulae:

List of dark nebulae

List of diffuse nebulae

List of planetary nebulae

List of protoplanetary nebulae

List of supernova remnants

Little Dumbbell Nebula

The Little Dumbbell Nebula, also known as Messier 76, NGC 650/651, the Barbell Nebula, or the Cork Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included in Charles Messier's catalog of comet-like objects as number 76. It was first recognised as a planetary nebula in 1918 by the astronomer Heber Doust Curtis. However, there is some contention to this claim, as Isaac Roberts in 1891 did suggest that M76 might be similar to the Ring Nebula (M57), being instead as seen from the side view. The structure is now classed as a bipolar planetary nebula (BPNe).

Distance to M76 is currently estimated as 780 parsecs or 2,500 light years, making the average dimensions about 0.378 pc. (1.23 ly.) across.The total nebula shines at the apparent magnitude of +10.1 with its central star or planetary nebula nucleus (PNN) at +15.9v (16.1B) magnitude. The UV-light from the PNN is expanding outer layers that form the present nebula, and has the surface temperature of about 88,400 K. The whole planetary nebula is approaching us at 19.1 km/s.The Little Dumbbell Nebula derives its common name from its resemblance to the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) in Vulpecula. It was originally thought to consist of two separate emission nebulae and was thus given two catalog numbers in the NGC 650 and 651. Some consider this object to be one of the faintest and hardest to see objects in Messier's list.

NGC 2438

NGC 2438 is a planetary nebula about 3,000 light years away in the constellation Puppis. It was discovered by William Herschel on March 19, 1786.

NGC 2438 appears to lie within the cluster M46, but it is most likely unrelated since it does not share the cluster's radial velocity. The case is yet another example of a superposed pair, joining the famed case of NGC 2818.Long exposures have shown that this planetary nebula has an extended double halo, while the more easily visible portion probably dates to the death of the red giant in its center.

NGC 3132

NGC 3132, also known as the Eight-Burst Nebula, the Southern Ring Nebula, is a bright and extensively studied planetary nebula in the constellation Vela. Its distance from Earth is estimated at about 613 pc. or 2,000 light-years.

NGC 3918

NGC 3918 is a bright planetary nebula in the constellation Centaurus, nicknamed the "Blue Planetary" or "The Southerner". It is the brightest of the far southern planetary nebulae. This nebula was discovered by Sir John Herschel in March 1834, and is easily visible through small telescopes. The round or even slightly oval diameter is telescopically between 8 and 10 arcsec, though deep images extends this to about 19 or 20 arcsec. More surprising is the beautiful rich blue colour that looks much like the coloured images of Neptune taken by Voyager 2 in 1989.

Spectroscopy reveals NGC 3918 is approaching us at 17±3.0 kilometres per second, while the nebulosity is expanding at around 24 kilometres per second. The central star is 14.6 visible light magnitude, and remains invisible to optical observers, as it is obscured by the sheer brightness of the surrounding nebula.The distance is estimated at 1.5 kpc (4 900 ly) .

NGC 6751

NGC 6751, also known as the Glowing Eye Nebula or Dandelion Puffball Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Aquila. The nebula is estimated to be around 0.8 light-years in diameter. The star at the centre of the nebula has a surface temperature of approximately 140,000 K. It has been calculated to be roughly 6,500 light-years away from Earth. It was formed when a star collapsed and threw off its outer layer of gas several thousand years ago.

The nebula was the subject of the winning picture in the 2009 Gemini School Astronomy Contest, in which Australian high school students competed to select an astronomical target to be imaged by Gemini.

Outline of astronomy

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to astronomy:

Astronomy – studies the universe beyond Earth, including its formation and development, and the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects (such as galaxies, planets, etc.) and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth (such as the cosmic background radiation).

Planetary nebula

A planetary nebula, abbreviated as PN or plural PNe, is a type of emission nebula consisting of an expanding, glowing shell of ionized gas ejected from red giant stars late in their lives.The term "planetary nebula" is arguably a misnomer because they are unrelated to planets or exoplanets. The true origin of the term was likely derived from the planet-like round shape of these nebulae as observed by astronomers through early telescopes, and although the terminology is inaccurate, it is still used by astronomers today. The first usage may have occurred during the 1780s with the English astronomer William Herschel who described these nebulae as resembling planets; however, as early as January 1779, the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix described in his observations of the Ring Nebula, "... very dim but perfectly outlined; it is as large as Jupiter and resembles a fading planet."All planetary nebulae form at the end of intermediate massed star's lifetimes. They are a relatively short-lived phenomenon, lasting perhaps a few tens of thousands of years, compared to a considerably longer phases of stellar evolution. Once all of the red giant's atmosphere has been dissipated, energetic ultraviolet radiation from the exposed hot luminous core, called a planetary nebula nucleus (PNN), ionizes the ejected material. Absorbed ultraviolet light then energises the shell of nebulous gas around the central star, causing it to appear as a brightly coloured planetary nebula.

Planetary nebulae likely play a crucial role in the chemical evolution of the Milky Way by expelling elements into the interstellar medium from stars where those elements were created. Planetary nebulae are observed in more distant galaxies, yielding useful information about their chemical abundances.

Starting from the 1990s, Hubble Space Telescope images revealed that many planetary nebulae have extremely complex and varied morphologies. About one-fifth are roughly spherical, but the majority are not spherically symmetric. The mechanisms that produce such a wide variety of shapes and features are not yet well understood, but binary central stars, stellar winds and magnetic fields may play a role.

Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula (also catalogued as Messier 57, M57 or NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra. Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a star at the end of its asymptotic giant branch phase, in the last stages of its evolution before becoming a white dwarf.

Visible nebula
Pre-stellar nebula
Stellar nebula
Post-stellar nebula
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