Nebulae - Gallery 2 Gallery 1 || Gallery 2 || Gallery 3 || Gallery 4 || Gallery 5 || Gallery 6

klaus_M27 C11f10 V3_200x179a.jpg
Messier 27
Celestron 11 f10
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
klaus_M8andM20 TMB92V3Aug28_200x270a.jpg
Messier 8 Messier 20
TMB 92
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
Horse Head Nebula to M42
TMB 92
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
klaus_HelixNeb C11f6_200x222a.jpg
Helix Nebula
Celestron 11 f6
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
klaus_Horse Head neb C11 f10_200x175a.jpg
Horse Head Nebula
Celestron 11 - f10
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
klaus_M42 TMB130f7V3_200x127a.jpg
Messier 42
TMB 130mm f7
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
Klaus_2018_M 20 C11CDK multi HP Jun9_18 -FINAL-200x251.jpg
Messier 20
Plane Wave f/8
© 2018 Klaus Brasch
klaus_M8 C11f6V3Apr28_200x135a.jpg
Messier 8
Celestron 11 f6
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
klaus_Flame Neb C11f6_200x167a.jpg
Flame Nebula
Celestron 11 f6
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
klaus_Cone Neb C11 TMB130 combo_200x134a.jpg
Cone Nebula
Celestron 11 TMB combo
© 2018 Klaus Brasch
klaus_BugNeb TakTMBcombo_200x223a.jpg
Bug Nebula
Tak TMB combo
© 2014 Klaus Brasch
North America & Pelican nebulae
TMB-92 refractor
© 2014 Klaus Brasch


Nebulae (from the Latin: "clouds") are interstellar clouds of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. All are located within our own Milky Way galaxy. However, before the true nature of galaxies was established by Vesto Slipher, Edwin Hubble and other astronomers during the early part of the 20th century, all diffuse astronomical objects were called nebulae. That was because at that time, it was widely thought the Milky Way was the entire universe.

Nebulae come in various sizes and shapes. Among the largest and most prominent are star-forming regions like the Orion Nebula (M-42), the Lagoon Nebula (M-8) and the Eagle Nebula (M-16); all favorites in small telescopes. Such objects usually appear pink or orange-red in long exposure photographs because they contain ionized hydrogen which emits light of those wavelengths (H-α). The Eagle Nebula or M-16 is depicted in one of the Hubble Space Telescope’s (HST) most famous images, the "Pillars of Creation". In such regions the accumulation of gas, dust, and other materials "clump" together into larger masses, which gravitationally attract further matter, and eventually condense into proto-stellar disks and then stars. The materials circling such proto-stars are believed to form planets and other planetary system objects.

In addition to such emission nebulae, our galaxy is also populated with dark nebulae, which are actually interstellar dust blocking visible light waves. The famed Horse Head nebula is one such example. Other colors, including blue and turquoise hues, are also caused by interstellar dust particles which preferentially scatter blue light. The blue colorations associated with parts of the Orion Nebula and Triffid Nebula (M-20) are examples of that.

Other favorite types of objects to observe with amateur telescopes are the so-called planetary nebulae. The Dumbbell (M-27), Ring (M-57) and Helix nebulae are popular examples. The term planetary comes from the fact that many of these objects appeared planet-like to early astronomers when seen in small telescopes. In actual fact they are the remnants of stars in the latter stages of their evolution when they eject masses of gas into an expanding shell. Stars which are much larger than our sun or unusual binary stars, will die in more dramatic fashion by undergoing a catastrophic explosion called a supernova. The remnants of such stars are subsequently scattered throughout the galaxy. The Veil Nebula and IC 443 and 444 are prominent examples of that.

A supernova explosion was recently observed in the nearby-galaxy M-82.

Klaus Brasch

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