When you hear the word nebula, chances are the first thing that pops into your mind is the "Marvel" character played by actress Karen Gillan. 

Considering that the character is part of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series, there is some connection to Nebula the "Marvel" character and an actual nebula. But have you ever wondered what a real nebula is?

What is a Nebula

A nebula (nebulae in plural form) is defined by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as "a giant cloud of dust and gas in space." 

Some nebulae are from dust and gas that were "thrown out by the explosion of a dying star, such as a supernova." Other nebulae, on the other hand, are regions where stars are beginning to take shape. 

Nebulae and Stars

According to NASA, nebulae exist in the space between stars known as the interstellar space. As previously mentioned the nebulae are made of gases and dust, but if we are to be specific about it, these gases are mostly helium and hydrogen. 

What many do not know about nebulae is that its gases and dust can lead to the formation of new stars? That happens thanks to gravity, which pulls together the gases and dust of a nebula that are previously spread apart.

As the clump of gases and dust gets bigger, the gravity pulling it together gets stronger. A point will come when the clump gets so big that it collapses, leading to the center to heat up. This heated core is the beginning of a star. 

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Hubble Space Telescope's Stunning Photos of Nebulae

The 31-year-old Hubble Space Telescope is known for its breathtaking photos of nebulae. Just last April, a reworked photo of a nebula known as the Veil Nebula taken by the Hubble Space telescope was released to the public. 

Here are the other stunning photos of nebula that the Hubble Space Telescope has snapped through the years:

Ghost Nebula

Ghost Nebula
(Photo : NASA, ESA, and STScI/Acknowledgment: H. Arab (University of Strasbourg))

IC 63 is located 550 light-years away and has been nicknamed the Ghost Nebula. Specifically, it is located in a constellation known as Cassiopeia the Queen. 

Iris Nebula

Iris Nebula
(Photo : NASA/ESA)

This photo of the Iris Nebula, which is located 1,400 light-years away, was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's  Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula
(Photo : NASA,ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team)

This photo of the Orion Nebula was taken using the Advanced Camera for Surveys of the Hubble Space Telescope, according to NASA. The Orion Nebula is located 1,500 light-years away from our planet.

Southern Crab Nebula

Southern Crab Nebula
(Photo : NASA, ESA, and STScI)

The Southern Crab Nebula is officially known as Hen 2-104 and is located in the constellation Centaurus. 

Veil Nebula

Veil Nebula
(Photo : ESA/Hubble & NASA, Z. Levay)

The Veil Nebula is located 2,100 light-years away from Earth. This photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope using its Wide Field Camera 3. 

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Written by Isabella James

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