A nebula is a very massive cloud made up of dust, gas, plasma, helium and hydrogen. Nebulae are also considered nurseries as this is where stars are created, or born. Nebula is the Latin word for cloud, and until the 1920s distant galaxies were also referred to as nebulae as well.Nebulas’ size ranges from millions of miles to hundreds of light-years in diameter.
Stars are formed as part of an amazing recycling process, in which gravity shapes new stars from the gas and dust expelled by old stars. Once formed, massive young stars regulate the formation of lower-mass stars with their powerful winds, blowing gas and dust out of some areas while compressing it in others. As stars form, they are hidden inside their “parent” cocoons of dust that visible light cannot penetrate, but they emit infrared light that passes through the dust clouds and can be detected by infrared telescopes.
The Eagle Nebula shown in this photo offers views of a stellar nursery in multiple wavelengths, allowing us to see both the dense cocoons of dust and the stars forming within. The nebula is home to three thick columns of dust and gas where stars are forming, known as the Pillars of Creation. Even at 5 light-years tall, the pillars have been eroded by stellar winds and are nearing the end of their star production phase. Most of the nebula’s hot young stars surround them, bathing them in glowing radiation that continues to chip away at their shape. To see more Nebula images check out the YouTube video link given below.