Myth vs Reality: Shapes of Planetary Nebulae

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 This short video addresses the misconception that planetary nebulae only come in one shape.

Planetary Nebulas
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
·       Sun rotation movie courtesy of NASA/STEREO
·       Animation of Sun becoming a red dwarf courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)
·       Animation of a planetary nebula’s expansion courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)
·       Planetary nebula fly-around animation courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Abell 39 image courtesy of WIYN/NOAO/NSF
·       Bipolar planetary nebula formation animation by Thomas Goertel (STScI)
·       Garden Sprinkler Nebula image courtesy of ESA, A. Riera (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain) and P. Garcia-Lario (European Space Agency ISO Data Centre, Spain)
·       Garden sprinkler animation courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)
·       Saturn Nebula (NGC 7009) image courtesy of Brad Ehrhorn/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       Photo of observatory dome courtesy of Phil Massey, Lowell Observatory/NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       Animation of Hubble Space Telescope over Earth courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)
·       Cat’s Eye Nebula ground-based image courtesy of Bruce Balick, University of Washington
·       Ring Nebula ground-based image courtesy of Daniel Folha and Simon Tulloch, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma
·       Helix Nebula ground-based image copyright Edward M. Henry
·       Image of Magellanic Clouds courtesy of ESO/C. Malin
·       Image of Large Magellanic Cloud © Australian Astronomical Observatory; photograph by David Malin
Written by Vanessa Thomas and John Stoke
Designed by John Godfrey 
Music courtesy of Association Production Music


 Top left, a black and white picture of a minotaur. Top right, a color picture of a nebula. 

Text, MYTH versus REALITY 

Myth side 

Text, All planetary nebulae are round. 

Reality side 

Text, Planetary nebulae come in a variety of shapes. Some are spherical, but others are elongated. Some have two or more lobes, while others are an intricate array of gaseous shells and jets. Like celestial snowflakes, no two planetary nebulae are exactly alike.