Planetary nebulae (M27 shown) are the last stage of stellar evolution before low and intermediate (<8 solar mass) stars become white dwarfs. They are short lived objects, lasting between 50000 and 100000 years.

A stupid question: why do we call them PLANETARY nebulaes when they are stars?

@CountZero William Herschel thought they looked a bit like Uranus when he saw them and coined the term.

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