I enjoy creating color images from three grayscale images. The post linked here will explain how to create color astronomical images. The colors assigned are not necessarily what the human eye would see, but are used to bring out details. Visit the gallery of previous Astro-Images.
This planetary nebula of glowing gas was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. It lies 5000 light years from Earth in the constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe). Bumpy and bubbly regions fill the cloud shaped ellipsoid. The bright star in the center looks to some like a pearl in an oyster. Hence the name the Oyster nebula. The hot central star blasted the gases out to the surroundings and causes them to glow.
HH 1 and HH 2
This image might be more challenging to visualize. It is located near the Orion nebula. At the center was a star which is now obscured by dense dust clouds in the foreground. Long ago, gas and dust fell into this star, raising its temperature. The rapidly spinning star collapsed, exploded, and emitted two powerful jets of gas, dust, and radiation in opposite directions. They are headed toward the lower left and the upper right. Designated as HH 1 and HH 2, they are colliding with other gases and dust causing the glowing regions we see.
This is another example of a planetary nebula of glowing gas. It lies in the constellation Gemini. The bright star in the center of the bright glowing region is extremely hot at about 240,000˚F. It previously reached the stage called a Red Giant phase. At that point, the spinning giant blew off its shell of gases and produced two jets in opposite directions. The jets are colliding with gases and dust to the lower left and upper right of the central star.