Nebular Creation, and Further Reading for VFX
The Nebular Hypothesis
The nebular hypothesis is an accepted theory that everything in the universe was created through and by nebulous material. Since scientist know that stars are formed out of clouds of hydrogen, it is thought that from these stars a dusty disk is formed around them. Then this gives formed to planetary systems. So in a way, everything in the universe, including you, was formed from a cloud.
It is thought at based on the sizes, and cooling rates of these disks, is how big the solar system around that star becomes.
Let's read about some individual nebulae.
Westerhout 40 (W40). The Butterfly Nebula
The butterfly nebula has two main gas and dust plumes reaching out of it. These resemble butterfly wings, which is where it gets it's name. These plumes of dust are being pushed away from the center of the nebula, as the newly created stars are throwing extra material away. This nebula has two main cores of young stars, and even more surrounding them as these are the densest part of the nebula.
Read more about The Butterfly Nebula: HERE.
RAS 05437+2502 Nebula
This Nebula does not have much known about it. It is located in the constellation Taurus. Because this nebula has not been studied to the fullest extent, most of of the knowledge about this nebula is theorized. It is thought that the nebula's glowing top arc was created by young stars colliding with the dust clouds of the nebula. It is not known if this nebula is still producing stars. However, it was first discovered by the IRAS Satellite when it became the first satellite to study the sky in infrared light.
Read more about The RAS 05437+2502 Nebula: HERE.
The Serpens Nebula
This nebula exists 1,300 light years away from Earth. This is one of the few nebulae that NASA has observed that shows the planet forming disks around the stars inside of it. This nebula also contains a dark nebulous section that resembles a bat. This dark section is 200 times as big as our solar system.
Read more about The Serpens Nebula: HERE.
The Cat's Eye Nebula
This nebula was created by a slowly exploding star over thousands of years. As the star slowly ejected it contents, the dust and debris created bubbly wavy masses around it. This nebula grows every 1,500 years. As this is when the dying star inside of it spews out more dust, and dies further.
Read more about The Cat's Eye Nebula: HERE.
The Helix Nebula
This nebula exists 650 light years away in the constellation Taurus. This nebula was also formed by a dying star throwing dust clouds outwards. Therefore this nebula is considered a planetary nebula. This nebula is important to study as our sun will turn into a planetary nebula in about 5 billion years. The collapsed star at the center of this nebula is called a white dwarf star.
Most of the colors produced in this nebula are visible under ultraviolet and infrared light.
Read more about The Helix Nebula: HERE.
Nebula Physics, and The Creation of the Universe
Read more about creation of life in the universe: HERE.
Read more about The Orion's Nebula: HERE.
Read more about cosmic cloud collisions: HERE.
As we've discussed previously, nebulae are considered to be a huge part of how the universe was made. Now let's dive a bit deeper.
The Orion's Nebula is probably the most studied nebula in the night sky. Therefore, we'll use this nebula as a starting point for our research.
Part of what keeps nebulae together are their huge magnetic fields. If nebulae didn't have them, then their clouds and stars would just drift away into outer space. The magnetic fields also help regulate star formation in the nebula, and prevent the huge gas clouds from collapsing. The Orion's Nebula has been one of the main nebulae studied by scientists for it's magnetic fields. Magnetic fields also help regulate star growth across the universe. Because magnetic fields trap and contain dust,stars, etc inside them, they can push those material into certain areas of the universe or galaxies.
Some magnetic fields can hold material in one place as well. For example, most galaxies contain super-massive black holes at their centers. Some of these galaxies are actively losing their stars and materials to these black holes, while others are retaining their size. It is thought that galaxies with magnetic fields that work against the black hole keep their material from being sucked away.
Sometimes stars inside nebulae prevent other stars from forming. Inside the Orion's Nebula, scientists have observed baby stars creating huge bursts of stellar wind that it pushes material for new stars away from the center of the nebula.
Previously, on a different page we talked about star clusters. Star clusters are considered a type of nebula, as they are now thought to be formed out of two massive gas clouds colliding with each other. The chemical reaction from these two clouds colliding creates the right mixed of compounds for star formation. These clouds have been observed colliding together over 20,000 km per hour.