What is a Nebula? Common Names for Nebulae H-O and Their Information

What is a nebula? google.com states that a nebula is “A cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against” a brighter area of sky. It also states that a general use of the term means “Any indistinct bright area in the night sky, e.g., a distant galaxy.”

This article which contains a listing of nebulae’s common names contains the names that begin with the letters, H through O. Perusing this list, you will come across interesting names that have been chosen to identify the various nebulae. You will find imaginative names such as Heart, Lagoon, Little Ghost and Necklace. This group of nebula also boasts of the well-known Horsehead Nebula.

In What is a Nebula? Part 1, Different Kinds of Nebula, this nebula series was introduced with descriptions of the different classifications of nebula. A full alphabetical listing of all the common nebulae can be found at that location. If you are seeking just one particular nebula, finding it on that list will allow you to jump straight to its picture and description just by clicking on its name. From there you will be taken to the correct hub and the correct location on that hub.

Nebulae Listing H - O

If you are searching for a description and a picture of nebulae whose name falls between H though O, just locate the name in the list below, and click on the name. You will be taken straight to that information with just one click of your mouse. Or you can scroll down and find the nebulae described below.

 Heart Nebula
Heart Nebula | Source

Heart Nebula, IC 1805

Looking at this nebula from the picture to the right, it is easy to see why this is called the Heart Nebula.

Name: Heart Nebula, IC 1805

Type of Nebula: emission nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 7500 light years

In Constellation: Cassiopeia

For more information: click here

Helix Nebula
Helix Nebula | Source

Helix Nebula, Eye of God, NGC 7293

Name: Helix Nebula, Eye of God, NGC 7293

Type of Nebula: large planetary nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 700 light years

In Constellation: Aquarius

For more information: click here

Horsehead Nebula
Horsehead Nebula | Source

Horsehead Nebula


Name: Horsehead Nebula

Type of Nebula: dark nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 1500 light years

In Constellation: Orion

Notes: part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, stellar nursery

For more information: click here

 Hourglass Nebula and  Hourglass Nebula.
Hourglass Nebula and Hourglass Nebula. | Source

Hourglass Nebula, God's Eye Nebula, MyCn18


Name: Hourglass Nebula, MyCn18, God's Eye Nebula

Type of Nebula: bi-polar planetary nebula

Distance from Earth: 8,000 light years

Notes: very young nebula, well-known for the "eye" that is at its center

For more information: click here


Keyhole Nebula
Keyhole Nebula | Source

Keyhole Nebula

Name: Keyhole Nebula

Type of Nebula: combination of an emission nebula and a dark nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 8000 light years

Size: approximately 7 light years across

Notes: part of the Carina Nebula

For more information: click here

To view another image of the Keyhole Nebula as part of the Carina Nebula, click here.

Kronberger 61 Nebula
Kronberger 61 Nebula | Source

Kronberger 61 Nebula


Name: Kronberger 61 Nebula, also called the "soccer ball

Notes: a recently discovered nebula (2011)

For more information: click here

Lagoon Nebula
Lagoon Nebula | Source
Close-up of lagoon Nebula
Close-up of lagoon Nebula | Source

Lagoon Nebula


The Lagoon Nebula is well-known for its two "twisters" which are quite evident in the top image.


Name: Lagoon Nebula

Notes: stellar nursery

For more information: click here


The Lagoon Nebula is even faintly visible to the naked eye on dark nights as a small patch of grey in the heart of the Milky Way.

Little Ghost Nebula
Little Ghost Nebula | Source

Little Ghost Nebula, NGC 6369

Name: Little Ghost Nebula, NGC 6369

Type of Nebula: planetary nebula

Distance from Earth: over 2,000 light years away

In Constellation: Ophiuchus

Size: approximately one light year across

For more information: click here

Necklace Nebula
Necklace Nebula | Source

Necklace Nebula


Name: Necklace Nebula

Type of Nebula: planetary nebula

Notes: recently discovered in 2005

For more information: click here

North America Nebula
North America Nebula | Source

North America Nebula, NGC 7000


Name: North America Nebula, NGC 7000

Type of Nebula: emission nebula

Distance from Earth: about 1,500 light years

In Constellation: Cygnus

Size: approximately 50 light years across

Notes: its shape resembles the North American continent including the Gulf of Mexico

For more information: click here


Omega Nebula
Omega Nebula | Source

Omega Nebula, Swan Nebula, the Checkmark Nebula, the Lobster Nebula the Horseshoe Nebula and NGC 6618

Name: Omega Nebula, Swan Nebula, the Checkmark Nebula, the Lobster Nebula the Horseshoe Nebula and NGC 6618

Type of Nebula: H II region nebula

Distance from Earth: between 5,000 and 6,000 light years

In Constellation: Sagittarius

Size: approximately 15 light years in diameter

For more information: click here


Orion Nebula
Orion Nebula | Source

Orion Nebula


Name: Orion Nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 1,500 light years

Notes: responsible for the brightest area in the sword of Orion (Hunter constellation), stellar nursery

For more information: click here



Watch a Nebula Slide Show

For a comprehensive slide show of nebulae photos taken by Hubble, click here.

More URL's to check out:

Reference Sites:

More by this Author


Comments: "What is a Nebula? Part 4, Common Names for Nebulae H-O and Their Information" 10 comments

davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

I think I like the Lagoon Nebula the best here although the Orion Nebula looks kind of cool too


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - I think the are are really lovely. I do like those, but I like the Little Ghost one also. I like the video with the Orion. Thanks for stopping by!


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 5 years ago from USA

I think I like the Little Ghost best of all. I'm anxious to show this to my little guy when he wakes up and see which one he prefers. He is on an astronomy kick right now so I'm grateful to have a new resource for him! I voted this up and shared it with my social network because the photos are just so cool :)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

DonnaCosmato - I hope to publish the last in this series today or tomorrow. It is almost complete. My favorite in the whole series is in number 5!

How old is your little guy?

Thank you for sharing, and for stopping by!

Must rush off now, I am starting my 30 in 30 today, and I'm late!


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 5 years ago from USA

Hi, homesteadbound,

Zach's 10 (going on 100, some days, lol!) I'm going to let him help me write the comment on the next one as he loves to share his opinion with the world. We'll be looking for our notification that it has been published. Best of luck to you in your 30/30. I believe in you and I know you will complete the challenge successfully!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

DonnaCosmato - going on a 100, LOL!

I am working on it right now. Should be done in the next few hours, unless my husband needs me to help him with something. I look forward to see what the two of you have to say.

Last week I also started and additional challenge of reaching 150 hubs before the New Year.

Have a great afternoon. I'll see you on the next Star!!!


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

I love infrared astronomy.

These hubs are brilliant.

All voted up interesting and beautiful.

Well done again


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

molometer - thanks so much once again. I love infrared astronomy also. It helps us see these things from a whole different perspective. Thanks for the votes and for stopping by and commenting.


roger chalwadi 4 years ago

i love nebuls...wish i kenw the hames of all these ive got a pic that i posted on halloween of the "with head" nebula, somwhere on my page


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

roger - I love nebulae also. I am glad that you were able to stop by and we were able to share the nebulae together.

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