Glossary term: Planetary Nebula

Description: A planetary nebula is a cloud of gas and dust, emitted by a dying star and slowly moving outward into space, where it will join other gas and dust to form new generations of stars. The gas, energized by ultraviolet light from the dying star, glows with an emission-line spectrum. Some planetary nebulae are approximately spherical, and may look like a planet in a small telescope; otherwise, they have nothing to do with planets. Others are non-spherical, probably due to the star`s rotation, magnetic field, or binarity.

Related Terms:

See this term in other languages

Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".