5 Beautiful Space Nebulae
Nebulae are star matter dispersed over a great area, which can form a star later due to gravitational accretion. In other words, they represent the marvellous process of creation, destruction and re-creation that has occurred in the universe for years. Due to this whole chaotic process, many gas shapes are formed, which makes them look like something only the greatest of artists could produce.
Some of these shapes are figurative. This means that they can easily be recognised as something we already have in our day-to-day life, such as an animal or an object. Others are completely abstract; they have no clear shape, yet they still give us a mixture of colours that can only be imitated with a graphic design program. The idea of seeing one of these phenomena first hand seems distant to most people, yet thanks to modern technology, some very high-quality pics have been taken.
If the space race keeps going as steady as it has during the last century, it will be possible to send probes further and further away, to give us a better view of what is going on, at the far reaches of outer space. However some of these formations appear in astronomy books and are most probably assured to transcend the bounds of history. Here is a list of some of them; a list of five fascinating space nebulas.
5 Eagle Nebula
It was first caught in the year 1965, using the Hubble telescope. This beautiful picture shows the birth of a star in the middle of gaseous clouds. However, a lot of people claim to see a human face shaping within the cloud. Scientists remained reserved about this strange phenomenon. However, it has caught their attention since it has given birth many new stars. Very complex processes take place among its chaotic inner structure.
For example, ultraviolet light shines at the top of this nebula, and catches the eye of most viewers: this light is due to the erosion of stars. The singular beauty of this picture made it very famous, and astronomers have used it in many books. It is this kind of cosmic process which may seem difficult to understand, and it definitely makes us wonder about how much beauty can be produced from chaos.
4 Butterfly Nebula
Scientifically known as NGC 6302, this nebula was also captured by the Hubble telescope in 2009. The peculiar shape and light of this nebula is due to its central star (a white dwarf, to be more specific) that illuminates it constantly.
Its gas clouds make it look like a real butterfly, and it creates a stunning effect that can inspire awe to nearly anyone. It has been found in the constellation of Scorpius and is four thousand light years away from Earth. Its gas and dust surroundings give it that unique colour and texture that fascinates so many astronomers. Its unusual shape places it as one of the most outstanding and beautiful gas formations in our universe.
3 Horsehead Nebula
One of the easiest nebulae shapes to recognise; the Horsehead nebula stands as one of the most peculiar out there. Its opaque colour is because it is composed of dust. For this reason, it could be considered as some sort of “cosmic cloud” in front of a nebula, with a red emission.
This marked contrast of colours permits the Horsehead to be differentiated from the rest of the black background. The perfect resemblance with a horse makes it one of those strange cases where you do not have to force the resemblance, as it comes out naturally, and can be easily recognised by anyone.
For some viewers, this sort of space scenario raises the question of an intelligent design going on behind curtains; or maybe the possibility of the wink from a higher intelligence that is trying to let us know we are not alone.
2 Soap Bubble Nebula
Found in the Swan Constellation, by Dave Jurasevich, in 2008, this nebula is one of the most recent to be found, so most probably it will not appear in some astronomy books. What calls attention is the fact that it looks like a perfectly symmetrical bubble.
Due to its round shape, it could be considered the final phase of a Sun-like star, or maybe even the view of a dying sun. Its circular shape is what makes it very peculiar, and places it among the rarest space sights.
A comedian would probably regard it as proof that God also enjoys bubble baths; a geometrician would look at it as a display of geometric cohesion; an artist would probably use it as an inspiration for a surrealist painting. Either way, this is a sight that will leave no one indifferent.
1 The Heart Nebula
Scientifically known as IC 1805, the Heart Nebula is one of the biggest nebulas yet to be found and is famous as it clearly resembles the cardiac system organ. Due to wind and radiation from nearby young stars, a lot of clusters erode from it. The large amount of oxygen contained in this nebula gives it that very special red tint.
Some of these stars are fifty times bigger than our sun and have enough power to light entire galaxies; while others have a very weak brilliance, and are very small. Ancient Hindu sages regarded the universe as being an expression of God’s power.
The Heart Nebula could be seen both by poets and mystics as the very heart of our universe, or the proof that energy could, after all, be sentient. Next to it is the fish head nebula, which looks like it’s swimming towards the heart. A fully poetic image, no matter where you look it from.