Online Astronomy eText: Stars and Stellar Systems
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(also see Emission Nebulae, Absorption Nebulae, The Messier Catalog: Nebulae)
CFHT image of the Rosette Nebula
Above, the Rosette Nebula. Below, portions of the nebula are shown in two detail images.
Click on any of the images for a much larger view of the whole nebula.
(Image above and details below credit & © Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, 2003; used by permission)
Detail of CFHT image of the Rosette Nebula
Detail of CFHT image of the Rosette Nebula

HST images of proplyds in the Orion Nebula
     A composite image of the Orion Nebula, using insets to show protoplanetary disks (proplyds) around forming stars. Images such as this indicate that about half of all forming stars have rotating disks similar to the Solar Nebula out of which our planetary system is thought to have formed. Click here or on the image for a larger version of the original image. (NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA), the HST Orion Treasury Project Team, & L. Ricci (ESO))

Herschel telescope false-color composite image of far infrared radiation in the southern Milky Way, near the Southern Cross
     A false-color composite of far infrared radiation in the southern Milky Way (near the Southern Cross) shows radiation emitted by cold (approximately 10 Kelvin, or 440 degrees below zero Fahrenheit) and warmer clouds of gas and dust which are collapsing in complex stringlike networks to form new stars. This image is one of the first test images from the European Space Agency's Herschel space telescope. Unlike the visible-light images above and below in which bright regions represent glowing clouds of very hot gas, this infrared image explores temperature variations in what visible light would show only as dark, obscuring clouds. (ESA, SPIRE & PACS Consortia)

NOAO image of the region near the Cone Nebula
The region near the Cone Nebula (at the bottom).
(T. A. Rector (NRAO), NOAO, AURA, NSF)

HST image of the Keyhole Nebula in Carina
The Keyhole Nebula in Carina
(Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), N. Walborn (STScI) & R. Barba' (La Plata Obs.), NASA)
Below, a detail of the image above
Detail of HST image of the Keyhole Nebula in Carina

NOAO image of NGC 7635, also known as the Bubble Nebula
The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) (Brad Ehrhorn & Adam Block, NOAO, AURA, NSF)
Below, a closeup of the "Bubble" (Donald Walter (SCSU) et al., WFPC2, HST, NASA)
HST image of a portion of NGC 7635, also known as the Bubble Nebula

HST visible light image of 30 Doradus, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, also showing the location of infrared images of the region
30 Doradus, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Visible-light image, with infrared insets
(Optical image J. Trauger (JPL), J. Westphal (Caltech), N. Walborn (STScI), R. Barba' (La Plata Obs.), NASA)

HST image of IRAS 05437+2502
(Image credit ESA/Hubble, NASA)
IRAS 05437+2502, a dusty region lit by the radiation of stars recently formed from its gas and dust. Most of the ghostlike glow of the nebula is due to bright stars at the top of the image, including (most likely) stars hidden behind the denser clouds of gas and dust near the top. An object of considerable speculation is the upside-down "V" near the top, which has been suggested to be a shock wave left by the ejection of a massive star from the young cluster, due to a multiple-star interaction which ejected the now long-gone star at speeds in excess of 120 thousand miles per hour (typical stellar velocities are more in the range of 50 to 70 thousand miles per hour). The region has not been studied in detail, being completely unnoticed until its 1983 observation by IRAS (its name refers to its position at RA 05 43.7, Dec +25 02, in the constellation of Taurus), and the HST image here was one taken during a few moments of "down" time between other observations, as a result of the object's inclusion on a list of "snapshots" which may or may not be taken as time and opportunity permits, or does not. The region shown here is a little over an arcmin across.

HST image of open cluster Hodge 301, in the Tarantula Nebula (in the Large Magellanic Cloud)
Open cluster Hodge 301, in the Tarantula Nebula (in the Large Magellanic Cloud).
(Hubble Heritage Team (AURA / STScI/ NASA))

ESO image of the Tarantula Nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud
The Tarantula Nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
(M. Schirmer, T. Erben, M. Lombardi (IAEF Bonn), ESO))