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Latest Nebulae Stories

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...

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....

e56a3af71cb667d500e75c523afa38701
2009-03-12 12:40:00

The "Cat's Eye" nebula, or NGC 6543, is a well-studied example of a "planetary nebula." Such objects are the glowing remnants of dust and gas expelled from moderate-sized stars during their last stages of life. Our own sun will generate such a nebula in about five billion years. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has studied many such planetary nebulae in infrared light, including a variety of more distant ones, which have helped scientists identify a population of carbon-bearing stars near our...

dbe512a4bf75809b48fc8851393b4a811
2009-01-07 12:55:00

Even some stars go ballistic, racing through interstellar space like bullets and tearing through clouds of gas. Images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveal 14 young, runaway stars plowing through regions of dense interstellar gas, creating brilliant arrowhead structures and trailing tails of glowing gas. These arrowheads, or bow shocks, form when the stars' powerful stellar winds, streams of matter flowing from the stars, slam into surrounding dense gas. The phenomenon is similar to that...

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2008-12-31 15:10:00

New computer visualization technology developed by the Harvard Initiative in Innovative Computing has helped astrophysicists understand that gravity plays a larger role than previously thought in deep space's vast, star-forming molecular clouds. The insight, to be reported in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Nature, is being illustrated in the journal's online version through new three-dimensional Portable Document Format (PDF) technology that will allow readers to view the article's key...

0feea1c7c369a3d9948bd37cf18d1de41
2008-11-19 14:18:57

The explosion of a binary star inside a planetary nebula has been captured by a team led by UCL (University College London) researchers "“ an event that has not been witnessed for more than 100 years. The study, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, predicts that the combined mass of the two stars in the system may be high enough for the stars to eventually spiral into each other, triggering a much bigger supernova explosion. Dr Roger Wesson, UCL Physics and Astronomy, says: "At...

a8f7a2019955b278354a215b2c18d237
2008-06-03 10:20:00

A team of stellar astronomers is engaged in an interstellar CSI (crime scene investigation). They have two suspects, traces of assault and battery, but no corpse. The southern planetary nebula SuWt 2 is the scene of the crime, some 6,500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Centaurus. SuWt 2 consists of a bright, nearly edge-on glowing ring of gas. Faint lobes extend perpendicularly to the ring, giving the faintest parts of the nebula an hourglass shape. These glowing...

7eb99bee852b0037f6b491dbe847cc051
2008-03-10 16:40:00

Astronomers at the University of Rochester, home to one of the world's largest groups of planetary nebulae specialists, have announced that low-mass stars and possibly even super-Jupiter-sized planets may be responsible for creating some of the most breathtaking objects in the sky.The news is ironic because the name "planetary" nebula has always been a misnomer. When these objects were discovered 300 years ago, astronomers couldn't tell what they were and named them for their resemblance to...

f7c88a6588b4cd2c589e05a1cda6bdc11
2007-10-23 14:45:23

A spectacular new image shows how complex a star's afterlife can be. By studying the details of this image made from a long observation by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers can better understand how some stars die and disperse elements like oxygen into the next generation of stars and planets. At a distance of about 20,000 light years, G292.0+1.8 is one of only three supernova remnants in the Milky Way known to contain large amounts of oxygen. The image shows a rapidly expanding,...

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2007-10-02 00:45:00

The gigantic nebula NGC 3603 hosts one of the most prominent, massive, young clusters in the Milky Way. Hubble has been observing this prime location for star formation studies. NGC 3603 is located in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20 000 light-years from the Solar System. Images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope show a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. Most of the bright stars in the image are hot, blue stars. They produce ultraviolet...


Latest Nebulae 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_eb1c58e78fe764237148429a189b17e92
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star Formation -- Star formation is the process by which gas in molecular clouds gets transformed into stars. In the current paradigm of star formation, cores of molecular clouds (regions of specially high density) became gravitationally unstable, and start to concentrate. Part of the gravitational energy lost in the process is radiated in the infrared, another part increases the temperature of the core. The accretion of material happen partially though a circumstellar disc. When...

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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