If you're a weightlifter, this might get you thinking about hitting the gym. For the rest of us - and especially for astronomers - it's known as Messier 27. According to NASA, this nebula "pumps out" infrared light, therefore the dumbbell reference. Too much hyperbole? OK, but it's the dog days of summer.
The Spider's web
It's all in the eye of the beholder but this is a shot of the so-called Spider's web - a spiral galaxy also known as IC 342 - that's relatively close to Earth (by galaxy standards) at a distance of roughly 10 million light-years.
A pair of eyeglasses
Taking the shape of a celestial pair of glasses that would look fine on the likes of Sir Elton John, Messier 78 was caught on camera by the Spitzer Space Telescope. But it's also something the rest of us can find by using garden-variety telescopes at home. Point your scope toward the constellation of Orion, just to the northeast of Orion's belt.
Cosmic exclamation point
If you're a fan of the abstract imagery painted by the artist Georgia O'Keefe, then this amazing image of colliding galaxies in the early stages of their interaction will strike a chord. For their part, astronomers have likened this picture to a cosmic exclamation point.
Necklace in space
This glowing necklace in space is located 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta. The nebula consists of the remains of an ordinary, sun-like star and measures about 12 trillion miles.
Eggs, sunny side up
Near the sword of the constellation Orion, massive stars light up the Orion nebula, which is seen here as the bright region near the center of the image. To me, it looks like a couple of eggs which turned out messier than the cook had intended.
It conjures up a resemblance to the glowing ring wielded by the comic book superhero Green Lantern, but this emerald nebula was created by the powerful light from so-called O stars, the most massive type of star known to exist.
The North America nebula
It's called the North America nebula because it resembles our continent - including a prominent Gulf of Mexico.
A celestial jewel box
There's a lot going on in the constellation Perseus , where star clusters of varying age make for a multi-colored jewel-like collection.