A brief look at the science of the stunning cosmos
A cosmic cloud of gas floating in space, they are not only the building blocks of the universe but also among the most beautiful elements of the cosmos. Nebulae are also one of the largest substances contained within the galaxy, stretching light years across while maintaining its enchanting glow and brilliant colours in swirls of luminosity. Stars and entire solar systems are built from these immense pieces of celestial haze making them a wonder not only to look at but to discover.
Radiating vivid colours of red, blue, and green, the various elements contained within the Nebulae are what give it a dazzling appearance. Specifically, 90% hydrogen, 10% helium, and 0.1% heavy elements such as carbon, nitrogen, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron. This formation of gas, dust, and a variety of other materials gradually clump together heightening in density and absorbing more material around it until eventually stars, planets, and entire planetary systems are formed. Gravity acts as a force that pulls all the matter inward until enough heat is produced causing it to shine and a star is born.
Of the most famous is the Orion Nebula which is the brightest in the sky and can be seen with the naked eye. Historically, before the invention of the telescope, there is evidence that the Mayan Civilization knew about the existence of this Nebula, heightening its significance. Described as “an unformed fiery mist, chaotic material of future suns”, it is the richest star-forming regions in the galaxy. It is also vigilantly studied by scientists and astrologers as it contains the foundation and elements necessary to new creation. Nebulous forms in the sky have been documented since ancient times, paving the way for the knowledge of Astronomy and the practice of Astrology.