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nebula




emission nebula IC 1396
The emission nebula known as IC 1396
A nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in space. There are three general types: emission nebulae, which shine by their own light, reflection nebulae, which reflect light from nearby stars, and dark nebulae, which absorb light and appear dark against a brighter background.

When cloudlike material in space is patchy, or of a form that is difficult to categorize as a particular type of nebula, is referred to as nebulosity.

Originally, the term "nebula" (a Latin word meaning "mist") was applied to a variety of extended objects in the sky, including what are now known to be external galaxies; for example, the Andromeda Galaxy used to be, and occasionally still is, called the Andromeda Nebula.


Related category

   • NEBULAE AND STAR CLUSTERS