A nebula (Latin for “cloud”; pl. nebulae, nebulæ, or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases
Most nebulae are of vast size, reaching sizes of even hundreds of light years in diameter. Although denser than the space surrounding them, most nebulae are far less dense than any vacuum created in an Earthen environment – a nebular cloud the size of the Earth would weigh only a few kilograms.
Nebulae are often star-forming regions, such as in the Eagle Nebula. This nebula is depicted in one of NASA’s most famous images, the “Pillars of Creation”. In these regions the formations of gas, dust, and other materials “clump” together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become massive enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.
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A special thank-you for the images from the Hubble Space Telescope which provided inspiraition for the series of paintings in “ From There to Here: A Journey Through the Cosmos”