1. Visual Magnitude (Brightest to Least Bright)
2. Stellar Magnitude (Brightest to Least Bright)
3. Angular Size in arcseconds (Smallest to Biggest)
4. Constellation (Alphabetical)
Along with their NGC and IC catalogue designations, the common names of the planetary nebula are also included (NOTE: Common names surrounded by ‘?’ question marks ‘?’ are names that I made up based on their appearance in photos and sketches). I also included an EXTRA section at the bottom of the spreadsheet which contains five planetaries that were not included in the major list (The Red Rectangle, Campbell's Hydrogen Star, Abell 12, Abell 50 and Abell 81)
This spreadsheet narrows down the easiest planetary nebulae that can be seen from an urban/suburban location. Where I live, light pollution tends to destroy my overall DSO viewing experience: Diffuse nebulae (aside from M42 and the major four in Sagittarius) are often invisible in the sky-glow. As are galaxies; the best looking like faint grey/white circular or pencil shaped smudges.
Planetary nebulae on the otherhand are bright, concentrated areas of light that are able to pierce through that urban/suburban skyglow. They also have color (green and blue being the easiest to see) and gaseous detail you can see when you view them through your telescope! And as an extra challenge they also have little jewels in their middles: central stars. For these reasons, planetary nebulae are the kings of the urban/suburban observing experience to me.
TIPS for you the Beginners:
-->Don't be scared of high visual magnitudes like 9,10,11,12 or even 13. Planetary nebula have relatively high surface brightnesses, unlike galaxies and diffuse nebulae, so they are easier to see (even with bad light pollution). For example, I have never been able to see the galaxy M51 (mag 8.4) or m78, the diffuse reflection nebula in Orion (mag 8.3), yet I have no problem seeing M76, the Little Dumbell (mag 11).
-->Get a GOOD OIII filter (ie. Lumicon), it is essential. Planetary nebulae will jump out at you with this little guy since they emit light strongly in the OIII wavelength. Surrounding stars will dim while the planetary nebulae will stick out like a sore thumb (see for yourself with NGC 2438 in the M46 cluster).
-->Don't be afraid to crank up the magnification to what you would usually call ludicrous (ie. 300x-600x). Planetaries are bright and can take the magnification abuse. Look for the central star and wisps of gas around it.
-->Sketch what you see. Viewing a Planetary Nebula is one thing, but actually sketching it allows you to appreciate its detail fully (ie. picking out minute details that you would have otherwise missed) and gives you the full feeling of 'bagging another one'. Sketching your observing sessions will also help you to catalogue everything you've viewed over time.
-->If you haven't gone planetary nebulae hunting yet, you've gotta start now!
To the experienced observers: If you know of any other bright planetary nebulae that were missed please share. Thanks