The ETA Aquarids
When the earth’s orbit crosses the path of a comet – even one that flew through the solar system centuries ago – meteoroids ejected from the icy rock surface of the comet collide with the earth’s atmosphere causing meteor showers to light up the sky.
The Eta Aquarids originate near the northern boundary of Aquarius and speed through the atmosphere at a rate of 1-2 per hour from late April to mid-May each year. They’re visible in regions near the equator just before sunrise.
The source of the Eta Aquarids (and the Orionids that happen in late October) is Halley’s comet, a mass of ice and rock 15 km wide that zips through the solar system once every 75 years.
A planetary nebula has nothing to do with planets at all. They’re the end result of a star’s evolution, when a giant fades into a small neutron star, emitting a nebula of colorful gas and stellar debris. To astronomers in the 1780’s these mysterious deep sky objects resembled small, colorful planets.