The word “nebula” was originally Latin, meaning cloud. Today we use derivatives like “nebulous” to describe something that is vague or cloudy. Nebulae, when applied to astronomy, refers to a cloud of ionized gas and dust in the arms of a galaxy. These regions condense to form new stars, and often host the remnants of dead stars as well. All the nebulae shown here are found in the milky way; my telescopes do not have enough power to observe them in other galaxies.
This page is divided into two catalogs: Messier’s catalog and the NGC/IC catalogs. Charles Messier, a French comet hunter in the sixteenth century, created a list of objects that weren’t comets. This ended up being a list of the brightest deep space objects in the sky. The NGC and IC catalogs are newer catalogs, charting thousands of objects that were too faint or too small for Messier to catch.
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