Latest Nebula Stories
The Hubble Space Telescope has been keeping its eyes fixed on two clusters full of massive stars that may be in the early stages of merging.
A new image of the Pipe Nebula has been taken using the Wide Field Imager at the European Space Observatory's La Silla Observatory.
ESA's XMM-Newton has helped to reveal the violent behavior of a young Sun-like star spinning at high speed and spewing out super-hot plasma.
The cosmos is full of outstanding imagery, and a new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has shot back another outstanding image back to Earth.
Giant bubbles, towering pillars and cascading clouds of dust and gas fill the star-forming nursery of the Carina Nebula seen here in a stunning new view from Herschel.
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 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.
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.
Complex organic compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system.
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.
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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