8 Facts About Nebulae
1. Nebulae are a mixture of the gases hydrogen and helium, as well as dust and plasma.
2. The beautiful pictures of nebulae that the Hubble telescope beams down are actually three different channels of black and white, which are mixed and painted by scientists to produce the vibrant colors we see in magazines and on television. (The layers are painted according to the composition of the different gasses within the specific nebula.)
3. The word nebula means “cloud” in Latin; indeed, nebulae are space. Variously, the meaning has also been given to mean “mist”; it’s fitting, because their varying appearances sometimes do look like a cloud of mist.
4. The galaxy Andromeda was initially believed to be a nebula before Edwin Hubble proved that Andromeda was actually a galaxy all its own in the 1920’s. Before then, it was believed that other galaxies were merely nebulas and that the universe only consisted of the Milky Way.