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The Orion Nebula
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NASA

Nebulae - The Dust of Stars

Nebulae are stardust. The gas in nebulae is used to make new stars. Dying stars create nebulae from their gas. While stars are made of very hot, dense gas, the gas in nebulae is cool and spread out. Water is at least 1,000,000,000,000,000 times as dense as the gas found in nebulae. Nebulae come in many shapes. They can be round or ring-shaped, and some look like the wispy clouds that float through the sky on a nice summer day. There is lot of gas that we can't see in the Galaxy. Something must happen for the nebulae to reveal themselves. What happens to make nebulae glow? Some are stellar nurseries where new stars are born. The young stars are extremely hot and provide a lot of energy for lighting up nebulae. Some nebulae are created by dying stars: supernova remnants and the planetary nebulae surrounding white dwarfs.
Last modified January 13, 2006 by Travis Metcalfe.

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