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Make Your Own Nebula In A Jar: Activities for space enthusiasts

Team StoryWeavers|February 4, 2020|

Welcome back, space explorers! Last year we went on loads of fun space adventures together with the exciting Moon Quiz and the DIY telescope.

This month, let’s explore another beautiful, mysterious part of the night sky – the nebula!

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Aren’t they beautiful? Let’s find out more about them!

What is a nebula?
A nebula is a large, colourful cloud of dust and gas found in space. They are mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Nebulae(plural) are formed either when a star dies or when a new star is formed.

What are the different types of nebulae?
Planetary nebula: These nebulae are formed when the outer layer of a star blows off. This happens when the star grows old.
Emission nebula: These nebulae contain ionised gasses and they glow.
Reflection nebula: These nebulae don’t have their own light but they reflect the light from other stars.
Dark nebula: Also called an absorption nebula, this is a dense area of gas that absorbs the light around it.
Supernova remnant: These nebulae are formed when a star explodes!

Where are they found?
Nebulae are found in interstellar space i.e the space between two stars. The Helix Nebula is the closest nebula to earth.

Nebulae are some of the most wonderful and fascinating parts of our universe. Now, what if we told you that you can capture this amazing piece of space in a jar!

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Here’s how you can make your own Nebula Jar! It’s the perfect addition to every space enthusiast’s study desk!

Detailed Instructions:

For the first layer of the jar:

  1. Fill 1/3rd of the glass jar with water
  2. Add three drops of the lightest colour of paint
  3. Close the jar lid and shake it till the paint mixes with the water
  4. Now open the jar and add a little (less than a teaspoon) of glitter powder in the water
  5. Take a handful of cotton and gently push it into the jar till the cotton soaks in the water

For the second layer of the jar:

  1. Fill the next 1/3rd of the glass jar with water
  2. Add three drops of the second paint colour
  3. This time, do not shake the jar
  4. Add a little glitter powder
  5. Add more cotton in the jar and gently push it down till it fills up the second layer of water and glitter
  6. Wait for the cotton to soak the water and glitter

For the third layer of the jar:

  1. Repeat the steps from the second layer for the last paint colour too
  2. Close the lid after the cotton soaks the water
  3. By this stage, your jar should be filled with cotton, paint water and glitter

Voila! Your Nebula Jar is now ready!

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This universe is full of amazingly beautiful and mysterious things that we are still exploring. The more you learn, the more you can come across intriguing things!

So get your exploring caps on for the ride and keep learning!

Will you make this Nebula Jar for your study desk? Let us know in the comments!

Read more stories on space here: 

How do astronauts live in space?

Pursue a career in aerospace engineering

Fly to Mars on Elon Musk’s spaceship

The rare annular solar eclipse

About the Author

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Deepthi Chakravarthy

Deepthi is an ambivert who is on a steady diet of good food, filter coffee, and self-improvement. Being an ardent reader, storytelling has been her first love and she enjoys exploring how to convey stories compellingly. Having studied psychology and experienced the learning and development field, Deepthi is driven to understand human behavior and to know what makes each of us unique. You are most likely to find her tucked into a cozy corner at a local cafe with a Kindle or a book in hand. If you find her there, stop by and say hello, she'd be eager to learn your story too. Until then, you can ping her at for anything you may like to share.

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