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Latest Nebula Stories

0d3cb20a730c600b66e0aac94b52e7501
2009-09-09 15:30:00

The simple picture of star formation calls for giant clouds of gas and dust to collapse inward due to gravity, growing denser and hotter until igniting nuclear fusion. In reality, forces other than gravity also influence the birth of stars. New research shows that cosmic magnetic fields play a more important role in star formation than previously thought. A molecular cloud is a cloud of gas that acts as a stellar nursery. When a molecular cloud collapses, only a small fraction of the cloud's...

c7c451d7a4f3c0d79f3b1f5082e017681
2009-08-26 07:20:00

Today ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favorite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike. This massive star factory is so named for the dark dust bands that trisect its glowing heart, and is a rare combination of three nebula types, revealing the fury of freshly formed stars and presaging more star birth. Smoldering several thousand light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the Trifid Nebula presents a compelling...

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2009-08-14 07:35:00

A team of scientists in Australia and the United States, led by Associate Professor Miroslav FilipoviÄ“¡ from the University of Western Sydney, have discovered a new class of object which they call "Super Planetary Nebulae."  They report their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Planetary nebulae are shells of gas and dust expelled by stars near the end of their lives and are typically seen around stars comparable or smaller in...

e4986e3fc964413ef725ebc5e5fcb3ec1
2009-07-20 15:45:00

A star does not die without getting noticed and may even leave the universe with "fireworks." At the end of its life cycle, a star begins to collapse in the middle and throws new material into space. The new material eventually becomes incorporated into new planets and life. Now, a University of Missouri professor identified new features in the material that is being ejected from the dying star Helix Nebula. A high-resolution near-infrared image revealed new information about the knots, or...

972f6d037f71e75276ae2976cd6888ea1
2009-07-16 08:05:00

Today ESO has released a new and stunning image of the sky around the Eagle Nebula, a stellar nursery where infant star clusters carve out monster columns of dust and gas. Located 7000 light-years away, towards the constellation of Serpens (the Snake), the Eagle Nebula is a dazzling stellar nursery, a region of gas and dust where young stars are currently being formed and where a cluster of massive, hot stars, NGC 6611, has just been born. The powerful light and strong winds from these...

946bd2848d1b15a3ee50180e73c76fa71
2009-07-07 08:05:00

The Omega Nebula, a stellar nursery where infant stars illuminate and sculpt a vast pastel fantasy of dust and gas, is revealed in all its glory by a new ESO image. The Omega Nebula, sometimes called the Swan Nebula, is a dazzling stellar nursery located about 5500 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). An active star-forming region of gas and dust about 15 light-years across, the nebula has recently spawned a cluster of massive, hot stars. The intense light...

2009-06-09 15:51:04

The astrophysicist João Alves, director of the Calar Alto Observatory in Almeria, and his colleague Andreas Brkert, from the German observatory in the University of Munich, believe that "the inevitable future of the starless cloud Barnard 68" is to collapse and give rise to a new star, according to an article which has been published recently in The Astrophysical Journal.Barnard 68 (B68) is a dark nebula located in the constellation of Ofiuco, around 400 light years away....

349fc64f4417d2310bd52d886471080d1
2009-05-20 09:45:00

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have succeeded in measuring the size of giant galaxy Messier 87 and were surprised to find that its outer parts have been stripped away by still unknown effects. The galaxy also appears to be on a collision course with another giant galaxy in this very dynamic cluster. The new observations reveal that Messier 87's halo of stars has been cut short, with a diameter of about a million light-years, significantly smaller than expected, despite being...

cb7bf78a85b377f0e983c062ac3ab69b1
2009-05-10 13:35:00

The Hubble community bids farewell to the soon-to-be decommissioned Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. In tribute to Hubble's longest-running optical camera, which was developed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a planetary nebula has been imaged as the camera's final "pretty picture." This planetary nebula is known as Kohoutek 4-55 (or K 4-55). It is one of a series of planetary nebulae that were named after their...

03001bcd32848419a3b5ef549e7108fe
2009-05-06 07:05:00

Designed and built by JPL, the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 has been the workhorse camera on NASA's Hubble Space telescope's since it was added to the observatory in December of 1993. The camera has produced most of the stunning images that have been released by Hubble during its 15-plus years of service. Its high image resolution and quality are some of the reasons the camera became the space telescope's most requested instrument. Throughout history, humanity has been moved by the work...


Latest Nebula Reference Libraries

6_19859ff34fd03d00777232e2520ce83f5
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Supernova Remnant -- A supernova remnant (SNR) is made up of the materials left behind by the gigantic explosion of a star in a supernova. There are two possible routes to this end: either a massive star may cease to generate fusion energy in its core, and collapse inward under the force of its own gravity, or a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it reaches a critical mass and undergoes a similar collapse. In either case, the resulting supernova...

6_d67b2db586c7facec8388b5df78e57912
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star -- A star is a self-gravitating sphere of plasma in hydrostatic equilibrium that generates energy in its interior through the process of nuclear fusion. Energy from this process radiates into space as electromagnetic radiation and neutrinos. Star formation and evolution As learned by star formation astronomers, stars are born in molecular clouds, regions of higher density of matter, and form by gravitational instability inside those clouds. High mass stars illuminate powerfully...

6_386b5e7a7ed089dc0a3363e0980dbb032
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Reflection Nebula -- In astronomy, reflection nebulae are clouds of dust which are simply reflecting the light of a nearby star or stars. The nearby star or stars are not hot enough to cause ionization in the gas of the nebula like in emission nebulae but are bright enough to give sufficient scattering to make the dust visible. The distiction between these two types of nebulae was done by Hubble in 1922. They are usually blue because the scattering is more efficient for blue light...

6_c65813e67f1bee99b0418c20e5cbbe582
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planetary Nebula -- A planetary nebula is an astronomical object that usually appears nebulous and disk-like in low-resolution observations. Because of this appearance, similar to the appearance of planets in early observations, the "planetary" adjective was attached and has since been retained for historical consistency. According to current observations and models, planetary nebulae in fact have little to do with planets. Instead, as a small star (less than a few times the mass...

6_56b4148a38a885ae7fa748b6f76fe6032
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Nebula -- in astronomy, observed manifestation of a collection of highly rarefied gas and dust in interstellar space. Prior to the 1960s this term was also applied to bodies later discovered to be galaxies, e.g., the so-called Great Nebula in the constellation Andromeda. In 1864, William Huggins confirmed William Herschel's conclusion that nebulae are not swarms of stars by determining that the spectra of nebulae are made of bright lines characteristic of radiating gases. Diffuse...

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Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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