Planetary Nebulae and Supernova Remnants
This gallery contains images of nebulae surrounding stars at the end of their live or that are associated with remnants of star explosions. Supernova remnants are the most striking objects in this gallery. Most if not all of the matter of a dying giant star is thrown into the universe by a giant explosion. A Planetary Nebula on the other hand is a colored and often symmetrically shaped gas cloud ejected from a normal star at the end of its lifetime. The remaining star remnant – the central star of the nebula – will become a White Dwarf slowly fading out in the next billions of years. In both cases complex elements like oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, silicon and many others will be mixed up with the galactic matter. They may become future ingredients of complex molecules, dust, stony planets or complex life forms.