DR 6 nebula ("Galactic Ghoul"). This is a star-forming region in the constellation Cygnus, with the central region (the "nose") about 3.5 light years across. The nebula's nickname comes from its resemblance to a ghoulish face, with cavities in the cloud looking rather like two eyes and a devouring mouth. (Credit: S. Carey (Caltech), JPL-Caltech, NASA) Mona Evans, "Cosmic Ghosts Ghouls and Vampires" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art181890.asp

What powers the Heart Nebula? The large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. The nebula glows brightly in red light emitted by its most prominent element: hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all created by a small group of stars near the nebula's center. A close up spanning about 30 light years contains many of these stars is shown above in a recent image taken by the Canada France Hawaii Telescope. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap041208.html

A grinning one-eyed skull? Actually it's NGC 5189, a complex planetary nebula around a dying star. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S.Carey (Caltech)) Mona Evans, "Cosmic Halloween Tour" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art52161.asp

Little Ghost Nebula. (NGC 6369) (Credit: Hubble Heritage Team, NASA) A planetary nebula in the constellation Ophiucus over 2000 light years away. William Herschel discovered it in the18th century. It's round like a planet, but was actually formed from material ejected by a dying star. What remains of the star is the white dwarf near the center. The nebula's main ring structure is about a light-year across. Mona Evans, “Nebulae” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art43407.asp

The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067/5070) an H II region associated with the North America Nebula in the constellation Cygnus, by Don Bryden #summerstargazing

Witch's Broom Nebula. It's part of the Veil Nebula (NGC 6960), the remains of a supernova that exploded more than 15,000 years ago. The bright star (52 Cygnus) near the center of the image isn't associated with the supernova. (Credit: T. A. Rector / University of Alaska Anchorage and WIYN /NOAO/AURA/NSF) Mona Evans, "Cosmic Halloween Tour" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art52161.asp

A photogenic group of nebulae can be found in Chamaeleon, a constellation visible predominantly in skies south of the Earth's equator. Towards Chamaeleon, dark molecular clouds and bright planetary nebula NGC 3195 can be found. Visible near the center of the above photograph is a reflection nebula surrounding a young bright star. On the lower right, a dark molecular cloud blocks the light from stars behind it.

The Stingray Nebula. Stingray's emerging bubbles and rings of shocked and ionized gas. The gas is energized by the hot central star as it nears the end of its life, evolving toward a final white dwarf phase. The image also shows a companion star (at about 10 o'clock) within the nebula. Astronomers suspect that such companions account for the complex shapes and rings of this and many other planetary nebulae. This cosmic infant is about 130 times the size of our own solar system and growing.

One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left.

Baby stars are forming near the eastern rim of the cosmic cloud Perseus in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The baby stars are approximately three million years old and are shown as reddish-pink dots to the right of the image.

M57: The Ring Nebula This planetary nebula's simple, graceful appearance is thought to be due to perspective -- our view from planet Earth looking straight into what is actually a barrel-shaped cloud of gas shrugged off by a dying central star. Hot blue gas near the energizing central star gives way to progressively cooler green and yellow gas at greater distances with the coolest red gas along the outer boundary. Dark, elongated structures can also be seen near the nebula's edge.

The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects, and NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot though -- shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. Above is a dramatically detailed close-up of the dying star's nebula

How did this nebula get created? The Cocoon Nebula, cataloged as IC 5146, is a strikingly beautiful nebula located about 4,000 light years away toward the constellation of Cygnus. Inside the Cocoon is a newly developing open cluster of stars. Like other stellar nurseries, the Cocoon Nebula is, at the same time, an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, and an absorption nebula. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021014.html

Infrared radiation from the well-studied Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) a mere 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. The two light-year diameter shroud of dust and gas around a central white dwarf has long been considered an excellent example of a planetary nebula, representing the final stages in the evolution of a sun-like star. But the Spitzer data show the nebula's central star itself is immersed in a bright infrared glow. Models suggest the glow is produced by a dust debris disk.

Jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away.

IC 5067.The Pelican Nebula, the ridge spans about 10 light-years following the curve of the cosmic pelican's head and neck. This false color view also translates the pervasive glow of narrow emission lines from atoms in the nebula to a color palette made popular in Hubble Space Telescope images of star forming regions. Fantastic, dark shapes inhabiting the 1/2 degree wide field are clouds of cool gas and dust sculpted by the winds and radiation from hot, massive stars.

NGC 2237 Inside the nebula lies an open cluster of bright young stars designated NGC 2244. These stars formed about four million years ago from the nebular material and their stellar winds are clearing a hole in the nebula's center, insulated by a layer of dust and hot gas. Ultraviolet light from the hot cluster stars causes the surrounding nebula to glow. The Rosette Nebula spans about 100 light-years across, lies about 5000 light-years away, and can be seen with a small telescope

The Ghost Nebula (vdB 141). It's a reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus. The light of stars embedded in the nebula give it the brown color that looks a bit liked dried blood. (Image credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF) Mona Evans, "Cosmic Halloween Tour" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art52161.asp

Wolf-Rayet Bubble Nebula

Perseus Cluster’s X-Ray Skull. [Credit: A. Fabian (IoA Cambridge) et al., NASA] Although it looks like something in torment, it’s just an X-Ray image of the Perseus Cluster of Galaxies. It doesn’t show the galaxies, only the X-rays given out by the gas between the galaxies. Mona Evans, "Cosmic Halloween Tour" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art52161.asp

Neil Armstrong David Scott Boarding Gemini VIII.