What is a Nebula? Common Names for Nebulae P-Z and Their Information

Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372 (Text by Author)
Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372 (Text by Author) | Source

What is a nebula? Nebula in Latin means “cloud”. A nebula is a mist or a cloud of gases and dust. Supernova explosions and their remnants that remain often create nebulas. Other nebulas are created when gravitational forces put dust and gases together. Many nebulas are stellar nurseries – the places where stars are born.

This segment includes the common names of nebula beginning with the letters, P through Z. Below this section you will find a listing for these nebula. As you view this list you will notice that they have ordinary names like Spirograph, Stingray, Tarantula and Pelican. The stunning V838 Monocerotis Nebula is found in this group of nebula.

This nebula series’ introduction, What is a Nebula? Part 1, Different Kinds of Nebula, discusses the different types of nebula and their classifications. A comprehensive alphabetical listing of all the nebula’s common names can be found in that introduction. If you need to locate a specific nebula, just locate its name on that list, click on its name, and you will be taken directly to that nebula’s description.


Embryonic Stars in the Rosette Nebula
Embryonic Stars in the Rosette Nebula | Source
Dumbbell Nebula
Dumbbell Nebula | Source

Nebulae Listing P - Z

A listing of the nebula beginning with the letters P through Z is below. If you wish to advance to a particular nebula on this list, just click on it and you will be taken directly to it. Once at a nebula’s description, a link is provided to allow you to find more information concerning that nebula.

Pelican Nebula
Pelican Nebula | Source

Pelican Nebula, IC 5070, IC 5067


Name: Pelican Nebula, IC 5070, IC 5067

Type of Nebula: emission nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 2,000 light years

In Constellation: Cygnus

Size:

Notes: This nebula is slowly changing shape and size because young energetic stars are causing cold gases to heat up which causes an ionization front to gradually move outward

For more information about this nebula, especially another picture with an explanation of how it looks like a pelican, click here.

Pencil Nebula
Pencil Nebula | Source

Pencil Nebula, NGC 2736


Name: Pencil Nebula, NGC 2736

Type of Nebula: supernova remnant

Distance from Earth: approximately 800 light years

Size: approximately 5 light years long

For more information: click here

Red Rectangular Nebula - a bipolar nebula and a protoplanetary nebula.
Red Rectangular Nebula - a bipolar nebula and a protoplanetary nebula. | Source

Red Rectangular Nebula, HD 44179


Name: Red Rectangular Nebula, HD 44179

Type of Nebula: protoplanetary nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 2300 light years

In Constellation: Monoceros

For more information about this nebula including its shape, its color and its ladder-like formation, click here.

Red Square Nebula
Red Square Nebula | Source

Red Square Nebula

Name: Red Square Nebula

Type of Nebula: protoplanetary nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 5,000 light years

In Constellation: Serpens

Notes: Scientists are not sure how the Red Square Nebula was formed, but it is so symmetrical that a scientist has deemed it as being "almost perfect". It is felt that it may be caused by two conical explosions and if viewed from a different angle may appear to be circular.

Ring Nebula
Ring Nebula | Source

Ring Nebula, M57, NGC 6720




Name: Ring Nebula, M57, NGC 6720

Type of Nebula: planetary nebula

In Constellation: Lyra

For more information: click here







In the video below, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope finds the Ring Nebula to look like a delicate flower.

Rosette Nebula
Rosette Nebula | Source

Rosette Nebula, Caldwell 49


Name: Rosette Nebula, Caldwell 49

Type of Nebula: large H II Region emission nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 5,200 light years

In Constellation: Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy

Size: about 130 light years in diameter

Notes: This nebula is so large it is estimated to be approximately 10,000 times the mass of our sun

For more information: click here


The video below shows gorgeous footage of this nebula.

Spirograph Nebula
Spirograph Nebula | Source

Spirograph Nebula, IC 418


Name: Spirograph Nebula, IC 418

Type of Nebula: planetary nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 2000 light years

In Constellation:

Size: small - approximately .1 light year in diameter

Notes: If you are familiar with the Spirograph, a toy using disks to create intricate geometric patterns, it is easy to see why this nebula was named such.

For more information: click here

Stingray Nebula
Stingray Nebula | Source

Stingray Nebula


Name: Stingray Nebula

Type of Nebula: the youngest known planetary nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 18,000 light years

Notes: The Stingray Nebula is about 130 times the size of our solar system but is extremely small compared to most planetary nebula (about 1/10 the size).

For more information: click here


Tarantula Nebula
Tarantula Nebula | Source

Tarantula Nebula, 30 Doradus, NGC 2070

Name: Tarantula Nebula, 30 Doradus, NGC 2070

Type of Nebula: emission nebula

Notes: a stellar nursery, The Tarantula Nebula is approximately 100 times the size of the Orion Nebula and 450,000 times the size of our sun.

For more information: click here. Lots of great pictures of this nebula can be found at this location.

Triangulum Nebula, NGC 604
Triangulum Nebula, NGC 604 | Source

Triangulum Nebula, NGC 604

Name: Triangulum Nebula, NGC 604

Type of Nebula: extremely large emission nebula

Distance from Earth:

In Constellation: Triangulum

Size: nearly 1,500 light years across

Notes: In the middle of the Triangulum Nebula, there are over 200 hot stars that are 15-60 times larger than the Earth's sun. The heat generated by these stars causes the gases within the nebula to fluoresce.

For more information: click here

Trifid Nebula
Trifid Nebula | Source

Trifid Nebula, M20, NGC 6514


Name: Trifid Nebula, M20, NGC 6514

Type of Nebula: it is a combination of an emission nebula, a reflection nebula and a dark nebula

In Constellation: Sagittarius

Notes: stellar nursery; Its name means 'divided into three lobes'.

For more information: click here

"Light Echo" Illuminates Dust Around Supergiant Star V838 Monocerotis
"Light Echo" Illuminates Dust Around Supergiant Star V838 Monocerotis | Source

V838 Monocerotis Nebula

Name: V838 Monocerotis Nebula

Type of Nebula: Supernova Remnant Nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 20,000 light years

In Constellation: Monocerotis

Size: approximately 13.7 light years across

For more information: Click on Play Movie

The sequence of images in this video depicts the variable star V838 Monocerotis (or V838 Mon) - a so called 'red supergiant' star in the constellation of Monoceros - exhibiting a phenomenon known as the light echo effect.

Successive photos of V838 Monocerotis showing the progress of the light echo.
Successive photos of V838 Monocerotis showing the progress of the light echo. | Source
Veil Nebula
Veil Nebula | Source

Veil Nebula, Cirrus Nebula, Cygnus Loop, Bridal Veil, NGC 6960, Sh 2-103, LBN 191

Name: Veil Nebula, Cirrus Nebula, Cygnus Loop, Bridal Veil, NGC 6960, Sh 2-103, LBN 191

Type of Nebula: large but relatively faint supernova remnant.

Distance from Earth: approximately 1,470 light years

In Constellation: Cygnus

Size: about 6 times the diameter, or 36 times the area, of the full moon

Notes: can be seen with ordinary binoculars and very dark skies

For more information: click here

Wizard Nebula
Wizard Nebula | Source

Wizard Nebula, NGC 7380


Name: Wizard Nebula, NGC 7380

Type of Nebula: emission nebula

Distance from Earth: approximately 7,000 - 8,000 light years

In Constellation: Cepheus

Size: about 5 times the size of the full moon; approximately 110 light years across

Notes: stellar nursery

For more information: click here


More URL's to check out:

Reference Sites:

© 2011 Cindy Murdoch

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Comments: "What is a Nebula? Part 5, Common Names for Nebulae P-Z and Their Information " 15 comments

davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

Another great hub... I think my favorite was the Trianulum nebula but the light echo is a close second. I wonder where all the dust came from for the light echo nebula... something must have died there and been destroyed.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - the dust is from the remnants of the star that went supernova to create the nebula. that one is my favorite. It is so gorgeous.

Thanks for stopping by!


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

So the red giant that is seen in the middle as the souce of the light that forms the light echo's has not gone supernova yet?


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Davenmidtown - this is what wiki says about it:

V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) is a red variable star in the constellation Monoceros about 20,000 light years from the Sun, and possibly one of the largest known stars. The previously unknown star was observed in early 2002 experiencing a major outburst. Originally believed to be a typical nova eruption, it was then realized to be something completely different. The reason for the outburst is still uncertain, but several conjectures have been put forward, including an eruption related to stellar death processes and a merger of a binary star or planets.


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

I must congratulate you on a superb hub.

Really beautiful images and very clear descriptions.

I seem to have dropped in to this hub out of sequence so I am off to see them from the beginning.

Well done brilliant work.


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Just been through this hub collection and they are all truly amazing. Excellent work. Voted all up up and away.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hello, molometer! I am glad that you enjoyed the whole series. It started out as one and then got so big that I had to break it up into bite-sized pieces. Thanks for stopping by and for the votes.


5 years ago

Voted up

Fascinating. You are very knowledgeable about the subject.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - Thanks so much for stopping by and journeying through the heavens with me.


5 years ago

YW. Maybe like me you remember remember the Apollo program when it happened and remember how fascinating it all was.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - I was a little young for the first one, but I do remember being totally amazed that we could actually fly to the moon. It was almost unbelievable at the time.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


5 years ago

YW. Amazing times, anyway, weren't they? Now they're talking about going to Mars. (Maybe once they've rebuilt Detroit?)

Less expensive to photograph Mars from earth with an electronic telescope, though.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - I think I will just stay on this terra firma. Not really interested in another planet.

And yes it is less expensive.

thanks for stopping by!


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

This is a great hub and the pictures are truly 'out of this world' They are beautiful and beyond explanation. Just stunning. I pop into every now and again just to remind myself of what is out there. Thanks again Cindy.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

molometer. It is good to see you again. This nebula collection has my favorite - the V838 Monocerotis Nebula. I just love it! Thanks for dropping by!

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