Related topics: nasa · massive stars · stars · infrared light

Mysteries behind interstellar buckyballs finally answered

Scientists have long been puzzled by the existence of so-called "buckyballs"—complex carbon molecules with a soccer-ball-like structure—throughout interstellar space. Now, a team of researchers from the University of ...

Image: A ghost in the Pleiades

This ghostly image shows what can happen when an interstellar cloud passes too close to a star. Barnard's Merope Nebula, also known as IC 349, is a cloud of interstellar gas and dust traveling through the Pleiades star cluster ...

Image: Foreground asteroid passing the Crab Nebula

When astronomers use the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the deep sky, asteroids from our solar system can leave their marks on the captured pictures of far-away galaxies or nebulae. But rather than be annoyed at ...

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Nebula

A nebula (from Latin: "cloud"; pl. nebulae or nebulæ, with ligature or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and other ionized gases. Originally, nebula was a general name for any extended astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way (some examples of the older usage survive; for example, the Andromeda Galaxy was referred to as the Andromeda Nebula before galaxies were discovered by Edwin Hubble). Nebulae often form 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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