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As we continue to break new ground in the field of cosmology, the importance of carefully categorizing the objects we see comes into focus. Part of this stems from the fact that, increasingly, we find that many objects appear to be the same on a macroscopic level, but are vastly different internally. In other instances, one phenomenon can manifest in numerous strange ways.

Our system is far from perfect, as you will soon learn, but to start.. the common thread in this series is the word “nebula,” which—at its most rudimentary point—refers to a large cloud of gas and/or dust—though all are not created equal. In fact, no two are ever exactly alike. 

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As the name suggests, "star forming nebulae" are places where new stars continue to arise. It's important to note that, while all stars are believed to have been born from nebular clouds, not all nebulae form stars (for example, both planetary nebulae and supernova remnants come from stars that have died).

You see, the birth of a star isn't possible unless it has access to raw star formation materials, which astronomers believe come from big clouds of gas and dust (nebular clouds). Once enough material has collected, parts of the cloud become dense enough to collapse under their own weight. From there, the newly-formed star continues to siphon material from its disk, allowing it to grow even larger until, finally, the star ignites—it begins nuclear fusion.

Nebulae are rarely limited to being one thing. For that matter, the most beautiful usually boast many different features. Take N44: one of the largest and most dynamic star-forming regions in the Large Magellanic Cloud...

N44 resides in the Large Magellanic Cloud Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Mich./S.Oey, IR: NASA/JPL, Optical: ESO)

Found 160,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Dorado, it is an example of almost every type of nebulae; it has many emission and dark nebulae; supernova remnants, it continues to form new stars and is diffuse. It even has an impressively large superbubble.

[/vc_column_text][vc_images_carousel images="42906,42905,42904,42903,42902,42901,42899,42900" onclick="custom_link" custom_links_target="_self" mode="horizontal" speed="5000" slides_per_view="1" autoplay="yes" hide_pagination_control="yes" hide_prev_next_buttons="" partial_view="" wrap="yes" title="Prominent Star-Forming Nebulae (Slideshow): " img_size="full" custom_links="https://futurism.com/new-image-reveals-that-despite-operating-for-a-quarter-century-hubble-is-still-going-strong/,https://futurism.com/apod-31013-ngc-2074/,https://futurism.com/astronomy-picture-of-the-day-122613-the-celestial-snow-angel/,https://futurism.com/apotd-heart-of-orion/,https://futurism.com/apotd-ngc-7822/,https://futurism.com/astronomy-picture-of-the-day-32313-fairy-of-the-eagle-nebula/,https://futurism.com/apotd-carina-nebula-in-bi-color/,https://futurism.com/apotd-the-eagle-nebula/"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text css_animation=""][vc_column_text]See other articles in this series:


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