Nebulas: Celestial Clouds of Beauty

by Esther Iranyi November 12, 2019

Esther Iranyi glow in the dark artist painting glow in the dark nebula

Nebula without a doubt are my absolutely favourite to paint for glow in the dark murals. They are described as the "cosmic clouds" of the universe. These celestial phenomena are composed of gas, dust, and various cosmic elements. They play a crucial role in the lifecycle of stars.

What are Nebulas? Nebulas are massive clouds of gas and dust scattered throughout space. These clouds are made of various elements, such as hydrogen, helium, and other ionized gases. The term “nebula” comes from the Latin word for "cloud," and it describes the beautiful, hazy, cloud-like appearance of these cosmic structures.

Types of Nebulas:

  1. Emission Nebulas: These are regions of space where gas is ionized by nearby stars, causing them to emit coloured light. The Eagle Nebula and the Orion Nebula are examples of emission nebulae.

  2. Reflection Nebulas: Unlike emission nebulae, reflection nebulae do not emit their own light. Instead, they reflect the light from nearby stars, creating a beautiful blue glow. The nebula in the Pleiades star cluster is a beautiful example of a reflection nebula.

  3. Dark Nebulas: These are dense clouds of gas and dust that block the light from objects behind them. They are often seen as dark patches against the background of brighter stars or nebulae. The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula and the coal sack nebula in the Southern Cross.

  4. Planetary Nebulas: Formed during the late stages of a star's life, planetary nebulae are shells of gas and dust ejected by a dying star. The Cat's Eye Nebula is an example of a planetary nebula.

The Birth and Death of Stars: Nebulas are connected to the life cycles of stars. They serve as the birthplaces of stars, where gravity causes gas and dust to collapse and form new stellar bodies. As stars evolve, they release energy and matter back into the surrounding nebula, enriching it with heavy elements that will become the building blocks of future generations of stars and planets.

Nebulas are like celestial tapestries. From the colourful hues of emission nebulae to the enigmatic shadows of dark nebulae, these cosmic clouds fascinate and inspire stargazers and artists alike.

Esther Iranyi glow in the dark artist with glowing blue nebula wall mural

Esther Iranyi
Esther Iranyi


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