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px eagle nebula pillars

What is a nebula?

A nebula (from Latin: "cloud"; pl. nebulae or nebulæ, with ligature or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and plasma.

Originally nebula was a general name for any extended astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way.

Nebulae often form star-forming regions, such as in the Eagle Nebula.
(This nebula is depicted in the pic above, the "Pillars of Creation".)

In these regions the formations of gas, dust and other materials "clump" together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become big enough to form stars.

The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.

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