Nebulae


Ep. 111: Nebulae


Posted on Oct 21, 2008 in Nebulae

When you think about the best pictures in astronomy, almost every one is a nebula; the pillars of creation in the Eagle Nebula, or the complex Helix Nebula – or my personal favourite, the Ring Nebula. They’re beautiful, wispy clouds of gas and dust that signify both the birth and death of stars. Today we give tribute to nebulae.

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After the big bang, all we had was hydrogen, a little bit of helium, and a few other trace elements. Today, we’ve a whole periodic table of elements to enjoy, from oxygen we breathe to the aluminium cans we drink from to the uranium that powers some people’s homes. How did we get from plain old hydrogen to our current diversity? It came from stars, in fact successive generations of stars.

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