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2009-04-21 08:54:52
For anyone who doesn't know and/or interested re what is a nebula: Simple explanation (my kind): A nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in space. Some nebulas are regions where new stars are being formed, while others are the remains of dead or dying stars. Nebulas come in many different shapes and sizes. There are four main types of nebulas: Planetary nebulas, Reflection nebulas, Emission nebulas, and Absorption nebulas. The word nebula comes from the Latin word for cloud. Wikipedia: A nebula (from Latin: "cloud" [1]; pl. nebulae or nebulŠ, with ligature or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma. 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 big enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.