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Nebula

From Academic Kids

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The Triangulum Emission Nebula NGC 604 lies in a spiral arm of Galaxy M33, 2.7 million light-years from Earth. This nebula is a region in which stars are forming.

A nebula (Latin for "mist"; pl. nebulae) is an interstellar cloud of dust and gas. 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 is sometimes referred to as the Andromeda Nebula).

Nebulae can be classified by how they are illuminated:

HII regions are the birthplace of stars. They are formed when very diffuse molecular clouds begin to collapse under their own gravity, often due to the influence of a nearby supernova explosion. The cloud collapses and fragments, forming sometimes hundreds of new stars. The newly-formed stars ionize the surrounding gas to produce an emission nebula.

Other nebulae are formed by the death of stars. A star that undergoes the transition to a white dwarf blows off its outer layer to form a planetary nebula. Novae and supernovae can also create nebulae known as nova remnants and supernova remnants respectively.

See also:

The Nebula Awards, annually given out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, are named after nebulae.ca:Nebulosa planetària da:Stjernetåge de:Nebel (Astronomie) eo:Nebulozo fr:Nébuleuse io:Nebuloso it:Nebulosa ja:星雲 nl:Nevels en gaswolken pl:Mglawica sk:Hmlovina sl:meglica fi:Kaasusumu he:ערפילית

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