Gomez's Hamburger was long identified as a protoplanetary nebula, and it's distance therfore wrongly estimated to be approximately 6500 light-years away from planet earth. Instead recent results suggest that this object is a young star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk probably closer to us at around 2000 light-years.
It was discovered in 1985 on sky photographs obtained by Arturo Gomez, support technical staff at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The photos suggested that there was a dark band across the object, but its exact structure was difficult to determine because of the atmospheric turbulence that hampers all images taken from the ground. The star itself has a surface temperature of approximately 10,000 °C (18,000 °F).
The "hamburger buns" are light reflecting off dust, and the "patty" is the dark band of dust in the middle.