planetary nebula

At some 4.6 billion years old, the Sun is about halfway through its life. In another 5 billion years it will be a normal "adult" star no more. Here's the skinny on the upcoming demise of the star that you owe everything to: light, warmth, energy, and life.
Take a look at these five Hubble images of planetary nebulae. Even though all of them represent late stages in the lives of Sun-like stars, like snowflakes, each one is different. What are these spectacular astronomical objects we call planetary nebulae?