Recently in the Nebulae Category


Names of astronomical objects are often ambiguous, especially when the historical designation of a certain class of celestial body preceded their physical understanding and was based on their appearance in the sky.

A new study of NGC 2024 and the Orion Nebula Cluster show stars on the outskirts of these clusters are older than those in the middle.

The Monkey Head Nebula (also known as NGC 2174) is a star-forming region in which bright, newborn stars near the center of the nebula illuminate the surrounding gas with energetic radiation.

In celebration of the 24th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope [which took place on 24 April 1990, with deployment the following day], astronomers have captured infrared-light images of a churning region of star birth 6,400 light-years away.

This new Hubble image is the best-ever view of a cosmic creepy-crawly known as the Tarantula Nebula, a region full of star clusters, glowing gas, and dark dust.

A Stellar Nursery

Illuminated by the light of nearby stars, the nebula M-78 exhibits a ghostly appearance in this 10-minute exposure taken with a 6" refractor at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

A Fiery Drama of Star Birth & Death

The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the closest galaxies to our own. Astronomers have now used the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope to explore one of its lesser known regions.

Witch Head Nebula Brews Baby Stars

A witch appears to be screaming out into space in this new image from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Ghost of Jupiter Nebula

This ghostly image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the disembodied remains of a dying star, called a planetary nebula. Planetary nebulas are a late stage in a sun-like star's life, when its outer layers have sloughed off and are lit up by ultraviolet light from the central star. 

The Toby Jug Nebula: A Close Look

ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has captured a remarkably detailed image of the Toby Jug Nebula, a cloud of gas and dust surrounding a red giant star. This view shows the characteristic arcing structure of the nebula, which, true to its name, does indeed look a little like a jug with a handle.

A new instrument called ArTeMiS has been successfully installed on APEX -- the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment. APEX is a 12-metre diameter telescope located high in the Atacama Desert, which operates at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths -- between infrared light and radio waves in the electromagnetic spectrum -- providing a valuable tool for astronomers to peer further into the Universe. The new camera has already delivered a spectacularly detailed view of the Cat's Paw Nebula.

Young Stars Cook in Massive Prawn Nebula

Located around 6000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion), the nebula formally known as IC 4628 is a huge region filled with gas and clumps of dark dust. These gas clouds are star-forming regions, producing brilliant hot young stars.

Puzzling Planetary Nebulae Alignment

Astronomers have used ESO's New Technology Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to explore more than 100 planetary nebulae in the central bulge of our galaxy.

A New View of Orion

This new view of the Orion A star-formation cloud from ESA's Herschel space observatory shows the turbulent region of space that hugs the famous Orion Nebula.

An Asteroid and the Orion Nebula

This image shows the potentially hazardous near-Earth object 1998 KN3 (top-upper-left yellow-green dot) as it zips past a cloud of dense gas and dust near the Orion nebula.

The Orion Nebula

Explore the dusty secrets of the Orion Nebula through Spitzer's infrared vision. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was launched on August 25, 2003 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Drifting in a unique Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun, Spitzer sees an optically invisible universe dominated by dust and stars.

A Beautiful End to a Star's Life

Stars like the Sun can become remarkably photogenic at the end of their life. A good example is NGC 2392, which is located about 4,200 light years from Earth.

Stars That Go Out With a Whimper

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the planetary nebula IC 289, located in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia. Formerly a star like our Sun, it is now just a cloud of ionised gas being pushed out into space by the remnants of the star's core, visible as a small bright dot in the middle of the cloud.

The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust.

Most skygazers recognize the Orion Nebula, one of the closest stellar nurseries to Earth. Although it makes for great views in backyard telescopes, the Orion Nebula is far from the most prolific star-forming region in our galaxy. That distinction may go to one of the more dramatic stellar nurseries like the Cat's Paw Nebula, otherwise known as NGC 6334, which is experiencing a "baby boom."

Formed by a star throwing off its outer layers as it runs out of fuel, the Ring Nebula is an archetypal planetary nebula. It is both relatively close to Earth and fairly bright, and so was first recorded in the late 18th century.

NGC 6559: Anarchic Star Formation

The Danish 1.54-metre telescope located at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a striking image of NGC 6559, an object that showcases the anarchy that reigns when stars form inside an interstellar cloud.

Ethereal View of the Horsehead Nebula

To celebrate its 23rd year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a stunning new image of one of the most distinctive objects in our skies: the Horsehead Nebula. This image shows the nebula in a whole new light, capturing plumes of gas in the infrared and revealing a beautiful, delicate structure that is normally obscured by dust.

A new study using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory points to the origin of a famous supernova. This supernova, discovered in 1604 by Johannes Kepler, belongs to an important class of objects that are used to measure the rate of expansion of the Universe.

Light from the darkness

On the left of this new image there is a dark column resembling a cloud of smoke. To the right shines a small group of brilliant stars. At first glance these two features could not be more different, but they are in fact closely linked.

A Stunning New Look at the Orion Nebula

A new image released today reveals how Gemini Observatory's most advanced adaptive optics (AO) system will help astronomers study the universe with an unprecedented level of clarity and detail by removing distortions due to the Earth's atmosphere.

A Cosmic Holiday Ornament, Hubble-Style

'Tis the season for holiday decorating and tree-trimming. Not to be left out, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have photographed a festive-looking nearby planetary nebula called NGC 5189. The intricate structure of this bright gaseous nebula resembles a glass-blown holiday ornament with a glowing ribbon entwined.

A spectacular new image of the star-forming Carina Nebula has been captured by the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory and released on the occasion of the inauguration of the telescope in Naples today.

Astronomers have found evidence for a dying Sun-like star coming briefly back to life after casting its gassy shells out into space, mimicking the possible fate our own Solar System faces in a few billion years.

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

The cosmic cauldron has brewed up a Halloween trick in the form of a ghostly face that glows in X-rays, as seen by ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope. The eerie entity is a bubble bursting with the fiery stellar wind of a 'live fast, die young' star.

A Planetary Nebula Gallery

This gallery shows four planetary nebulas from the first systematic survey of such objects in the solar neighborhood made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The planetary nebulas shown here are NGC 6543, also known as the Cat's Eye, NGC 7662, NGC 7009 and NGC 6826. In each case, X-ray emission from Chandra is colored purple and optical emission from the Hubble Space Telescope is colored red, green and blue.

Pipe Nebula Seen as Never Before

Just as Rene Magritte wrote "This is not a pipe" on his famous painting, this is also not a pipe. It is however a picture of part of a vast dark cloud of interstellar dust called the Pipe Nebula.

Turning its eye to the Tarantula Nebula, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken this close-up of the outskirts of the main cloud of the Nebula.