Nebulae Decoded: 10 Facts

August 30, 2023

By Sonakshi Kandhari

Nebulae, a captivating cosmic spectacle, never ceases to amaze. It's nothing but a cloud of dust and gas, mainly hydrogen and helium. However, the mysteries surrounding these celestial formations go much deeper. Let's uncover 10 of them today.

Image Source: Pxfuel

It's a Product of Dying Stars

When a star dies, all the material that it is made up of intermingles with gas and dust to form nebulae.

Image Source: Pexels

The Sun and Planets Were Born in a Nebula

When the sun and planets were conceived, they were in a nebula around 4.5 billion years ago.

Image Source: Pxfuel

It's Also Called a Star Nursery

It is the spot where stars are born; so a nebula is also called a star nursery.

Image Source: Pxfuel

The Tarantula Nebula is the World's Largest One

It measures 600 light years in diameter. Intense star formation takes place here. Nestled in the Doradus constellation, Tarantula nebula is also called 30 Doradus.

Image Source: Pxfuel

The Helix Nebula is the Closest to Earth

The Helix Nebula is just 700 light years behind the Earth, and it formed from the remnants of a star that was quite similar to the sun.

Image Source: Pxfuel

Its Shape is Determined by Everything in it and Around it

The energy from the stars in it and the energy from all the other phenomena surrounding it determine the shape it takes.

Image Source: ESA Hubble

You Can See it With Your Own Eyes

While most of the nebulae can be viewed only with a telescope, the Orion Nebula is bright enough to be spotted by our eyes.

Image Source: NASA

Even the Sun is on its Way to Becoming One

Around 5 billion years from now, the sun will be devoid of fuel, and its exterior will blast and form a nebula.

Image Source: NASA

It's Not Always Bright

Some nebulae contain a large proportion of dust, as a result of which they become a barrier and block light. They're called absorption nebulae.

Image Source: NASA

Planetary Nebulae are Not Related to Planets

While the name might confuse you, these nebulae are actually ones with low-mass star life. They are named so because they bear a resemblance to planets.

Image Source: NASA