diffuse nebulae


The ORION nebula is a nebula located in the Milky Way Galaxy, in the constellation Orion. It is a diffuse nebula, which means that it has no defined borders. It is one of the brightest nebulae visible to the naked eye and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth!

Astronomers have been able to identify many steps in the star formation process by observing the Orion Nebula. Neither Ptolemy or Galileo noted the Orion Nebula in their notes from observing the sky, so it is believed to think that the Stars have become brighter since then, allowing it to be visible to naked eye viewers.

The nebula is part of a larger nebula known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. This extends through the Orion constellation and contains Barnard’s loop, the Horsehead nebula, the Flame nebula, and some other smaller ones!

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The Great Nebula in Orion - M42

The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976, is a diffuse nebula located just below Orion’s Belt. M42 is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky on a clear night. The Orion Nebula is about 1300 Light-years away from us and is about 24 light years across.

Credit: Wikipedia Free Media Repository

This is the Orion Nebula. The Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula that is situated in the famous Orion’s Belt (Constellation Orion).

One of the brightest known nebulae, it is visible to the naked eye if you’re in areas where there isn’t significant light pollution.

Classified as Messier 42, NGC 1976. Roughly 1,344 lightyears away and approximately 24 light years across, it’s truly one of the most impressive known nebulae.


The CARINA nebula, also known as the Eta Carinae nebula, is an area of both bight and dark nebulae.

It is found in the Carina constellation and is thought to be located between 6 500 and 10 000 light years from Earth. It is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies and is even larger (and brighter) than the famous Orion nebula. It is home to the brightest star in the Milky Way Galaxy- WR 25.

Some objects contained within this nebula are:

  • Eta Carinae: hypergiant star- currently the largest star that can be studied due to its location.
  • Homunculus Nebula: believed to have been ejected in an enormous outburst in 1841.
  • Keyhole Nebula: portion of the nebula that is dark. It doesn’t have its own NGC designation.
  • Mystic Mountain: dust-gas pillar found by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Got any other facts/questions about the Carina nebula? Send me a message and we can talk about it! Stay tuned for tomorrow!