Latest Nebula Stories
Messier 7, also known as NGC 6475, is a brilliant cluster of about 100 stars located some 800 light-years from Earth. In this new picture from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope it stands out against a very rich background of hundreds of thousands of fainter stars, in the direction of the center of the Milky Way.
Large stars can end their lives as violently cataclysmic supernovae. Small stars, in contrast, end up as planetary nebulae—colorful, glowing clouds of dust and gas. These nebulae were once thought to be mostly spherical.
Enormous young stars, which have over 10 times the mass of the Sun, shine brilliantly in ultraviolet wavelengths, energizing the gas around them, and it has long been a mystery why this superheated gas doesn't explode outwards.
ESO scientists have just released images from the project of the Lagoon Nebula, giant cloud of gas and dust is creating intensely bright young stars.
The Hubble Tarantula Treasury Program from NASA has revealed some fascinating new images deep inside the Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Daradus.
For WISE's fourth birthday, NASA has released an image of a dying star called the Helix nebula, surrounded by a halo of relatively close asteroids tracks.
Astronomers from the UK have discovered argon hydride within the Crab Nebula, marking the first time that noble gas molecules have been detected in space, according to research appearing in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.
Astronomers at ESO have captured the best image so far of the curious clouds around the star cluster NGC 3572.
In the spirit of Halloween, scientists are releasing a trio of stellar ghosts caught in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
The Boomerang Nebula, at a crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), is the coldest known object in the Universe. In fact, the Boomerang Nebula is colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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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