Friday, 27 June 2014

Dust of the Ancients

So when people often think of Astronomy they think of the the beautiful pictures that the Hubble Space Telescope has taken over the years. A full gallery of which can be found here. But the pictures that people always remember are those of Nebulae. There are several types of Nebulae but in general they are large regions of gas and dust that are found in space.

The Eagle Nebula

The stunning picture above was dubbed the Pillars of Creation and is found in the Eagle Nebulae in the constellation of Serpens. This type of nebula is sometimes called a Stellar Nursery and is generally where stars form out of the gas and dust.When a small amount of gas, which is denser in that place than in the rest of the nebula, gravity takes over and more gas and dust is attracted to this spot, and eventually a star is born. Young stars are always found in these types of nebula and all the stars formed tend to have a similar age.

The Helix Nebula

The picture above shows another type called a Planetary Nebula called the Helix nebula. Generally these are formed when a massive star, called a Red Giant, reaches the end of it's life and begins to die in a process known as a Supernova. The star throws of an outer shell of gas and dust and becomes a smaller kind of star known as a White Dwarf.

 The Cat's Eye Nebula

There are more reasons than I've went into for these beautiful wonders of the Universe that I've saved for another post. But what do you think? Do you have a favourite?


  1. Those images are stunning! I find astronomy to be so alluring and so fascinating!

  2. How beautiful are those photographs. Sounds fascinating and I'd love to learn more. It's incredible to imagine what's out there; we're so tiny in comparison

    Hannah xo | hannatalks

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