Latest Nebula Stories

APEX Captures Stunning Image Of Dust Near Orion's Belt
2012-05-02 12:52:36

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] A new image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78, just to the north of Orion´s Belt, shows clouds of cosmic dust threaded through the nebula like a string of pearls. The observations, made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope[1], use the heat glow of interstellar dust grains to show astronomers where new stars are being formed. Dust may sound boring and uninteresting – the surface grime that hides the beauty...

Hubble Images Searchlight Beams From A Preplanetary Nebula
2012-04-27 09:52:56

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been at the cutting edge of research into what happens to stars like our sun at the ends of their lives. One stage that stars pass through as they run out of nuclear fuel is called the preplanetary or protoplanetary nebula stage. This Hubble image of the Egg Nebula shows one of the best views to date of this brief but dramatic phase in a star´s life. The preplanetary nebula phase is a short period in the cycle of stellar evolution, and has...

Image 1 - La Silla Observatory Eyes A Cluster Within A Cluster
2012-04-25 11:47:24

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] The star cluster NGC 6604 is shown in this new image taken by the Wide Field Imager attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. It is often overlooked in favor of its more prominent neighbor, the Eagle Nebula (also known as Messier 16), that lies a mere wingspan away. But the framing of this picture, which places the star cluster in a landscape of surrounding gas and dust clouds, shows what a beautiful object NGC 6604 is in...

2012-04-02 09:52:10

Complex organic compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system. Scientists at the University of Chicago and NASA Ames Research Center came to this conclusion after linking computer simulations to laboratory experiments. Fred Ciesla, assistant professor in geophysical sciences at UChicago, simulated the dynamics of the solar nebula, the cloud of gas and dust from which the sun and the planets...

Image 1 - Carina Nebula Stars In Stunning New VLT Photo
2012-02-08 14:05:25

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] ESO´s Very Large Telescope has delivered the most detailed infrared image of the Carina Nebula stellar nursery taken so far. Many previously hidden features, scattered across a spectacular celestial landscape of gas, dust and young stars, have emerged. This is one of the most dramatic images ever created by the VLT. Deep in the heart of the southern Milky Way lies a stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula. It is about 7500 light-years from Earth in the...

Image 1 - ESO's Vista Images Helix Nebula In Spectacular New Colors
2012-01-19 10:18:58

[ Watch the Video ] ESO´s VISTA telescope, at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, has captured a striking new image of the Helix Nebula. This picture, taken in infrared light, reveals strands of cold nebular gas that are invisible in images taken in visible light, as well as bringing to light a rich background of stars and galaxies. The Helix Nebula is one of the closest and most remarkable examples of a planetary nebula [1]. It lies in the constellation of Aquarius (The Water...

Image 1 - A New View Of The Iconic Eagle Nebula
2012-01-18 04:46:04

The Eagle Nebula as never seen before. In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope's 'Pillars of Creation' image of the Eagle Nebula became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Now, two of ESA's orbiting observatories have shed new light on this enigmatic star-forming region. The Eagle Nebula is 6500 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens. It contains a young hot star cluster, NGC6611, visible with modest back-garden telescopes, that is sculpting and illuminating the...

VLT Image Reveals Omega Nebula's Smoky Pink Core
2012-01-04 10:40:49

[ Watch the Video ] A new image of the Omega Nebula, captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), is one of the sharpest of this object ever taken from the ground. It shows the dusty, rose-colored central parts of this famous stellar nursery and reveals extraordinary detail in the cosmic landscape of gas clouds, dust and newborn stars. The colorful gas and dark dust in the Omega Nebula serve as the raw materials for creating the next generation of stars. In this particular section of...

NASA Unveils Hubble Photo Of Celestial 'Snow Angel'
2011-12-15 12:45:19

NASA unveiled a photo taken by its Hubble Space Telescope just in time for holiday festivities that resembles a snow angel. The "angel" is actually a bipolar star-forming region called Sharpless 2-106, and its wings shape is derived from the nebula. Despite the beauty of this celestial image, there is nothing peaceful about this star forming region.  The young star that lies in it is ferocious, spitting out super-hot gas at 18,032 degrees Fahrenheit. "A ring of dust and gas...

APEX Provides New View Of Carina Nebula Star Formation
2011-11-16 10:11:45

[ Watch the Video ] Observations made with the APEX telescope in submillimeter-wavelength light reveal the cold dusty clouds from which stars form in the Carina Nebula. This site of violent star formation, which plays host to some of the highest-mass stars in our galaxy, is an ideal arena in which to study the interactions between these young stars and their parent molecular clouds. Using the LABOCA camera on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope on the plateau of...

Latest Nebula Reference Libraries

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...

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...

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...

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...

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
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).