20 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Nebula | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. The word nebula means “cloud” in Latin; indeed, nebulae are space.
  2. Nebulas are often the result of a giant star or a white dwarf going supernova.
  3. The Crab Nebula was formed by a supernova in the year 1054 and this event was observed by many cultures.
  4. The other means by which a nebula can form is when the gas and dust in space (the interstellar medium-ISM) becomes so dense, it starts to be pulled in by gravity.
  5. Amazingly the ISM in universe has an average density of only 1 atom for every cubic centimeter, compared to Earth’s atmosphere which contains a 100 billion billion atoms per cubic centimeter.
  6. Nebulae are clouds in interstellar space. They are a mixture of the gases hydrogen and helium, as well as dust and plasma.
  7. These nebulae can eventually give birth to stars, planets and moons such as we see in our own solar system.
  8. They range in size from millions of miles across to hundreds of light years across.
  9. These nebulae survive for 25,000 to 100,000 years, a short life by astronomical standards, and expand at approximately 10 miles (16 kms) per second.
  10. It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 planetary nebulae in our Milky Way Galaxy. However, so far only 2,000 have been detected.
  11. Nebulae come in an extraordinary variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Some look like a horse head, some look like a crab, some like a butterfly and some look like cat’s eye! making them some of the most spectacular and fascinating objects in our Universe.
  12. The brightest nebula in our sky is Orion Nebula about 1,300 light years away. It is found near Orion’s belt. It looks like a tiny dot to the naked eye, even though it’s 25 light-years across. It is emission nebula meaning it can collapse on itself to form a star.
  13. The closest of all the bright planetary nebulae to Earth, the Helix Nebula is about 700 light years away from Earth.
  14. Nebulae which exist outside the Milky Way are known as extra-galactic nebulae.
  15. The Crab Pulsar is a star within the Crab Nebula about 6000 light years away which is an extremely young, spinning star, emitting radio waves picked on earth.
  16. The Butterfly Nebula is located in the constellation Scorpius, in the southern hemisphere near the Milky Way. Its central star is one of the hottest stars in the galaxy, with temperatures rising up to 200,000 Kelvin.
  17. The Horse-head nebula is shaped like a horse head. It is found on the south of the Alnitak star of the Orion’s Belt, approximately about 1500 light years from Earth. It is the most unique and easily identifiable nebula, seen from Earth.
  18. The pillars of creation are a very famous picture that NASA took of the eagle nebula, they are large pillars that form many new stars.
  19. The coolest place to naturally exist in our known universe is the Boomerang nebula first observed in 1980. In 1998, the Hubble Space Telescope observed that it had an hourglass shape. The temperature of the nebula is -272 degrees Celsius which is only 1 degree above absolute zero!
  20. It is estimated that in 5 billion years our Sun will also become a planetary nebula, following a rapid expansion which will eventually consume the Earth.

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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