November 2011

Spooky Black Widow Nebula

In honor of Halloween, National Geographic released ten spooky pictures from space. You can view the images via: a slideshow here.

My favorite was the Black Widow nebula. In Latin, nebula directly translated means: cloud. Nebulae consist of interstellar gases and other matter visible as an extended astronomical object. Before galaxies were discovered by Edwin Hubble, they were commonly referred to as nebulae. Our own Milky Way galaxy was considered a nebula before the early 1920’s.

Nebulae fascinate me to no end. As time goes on they accumulate hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Eventually gathering enough matter to create a visible cluster and finally form into an actual star!