In the pre-tele­scope era the word Neb­ula was used by observ­ers to describe any “fuzzy” patch present in the night sky that was­n’t sharp like a plan­et or star. The objects presen­ted in this gal­lery are “fuzzy”, but nerver­the­less of dif­fer­ent nature.

Emis­sion Neb­u­lae are also known as HII regions and rep­res­ent bright clouds of fluor­es­cing hydro­gen gas enger­gized by very hot young stars. They mostly shine in a red col­or, the char­ac­ter­ist­ic emis­sion line of hydro­gen. A very nice example is the Rosette Neb­ula (NGC 2244).

Reflec­tion Neb­u­lae refer to clouds of dust with embeded stars which reflect their light. The Great Ori­on Neb­ula (M42) is a clas­sic­al example of this kind of nebula.

Plan­et­ary Neb­u­lae rep­res­ent the last phase of a stars life. When nuc­le­ar power ceases to with­stand the gravi­tity of a sun­like star, it will blow a part of its mater­i­al into space. A typ­ic­al example of this fla­vor of neb­u­lae is the fam­ous Ring Neb­ula (M57) in Lyra.

[descrip­tion from Robert Gend­ler­’s primer]

About Me

Hello, my name is Martin Rusterholz. I’m a Swiss amateur astrophotographer living near Zurich, the biggest town in Switzerland. My interest in astronomy started when I was 16. At that time, I built my first Newtonian telescope and mount. I studied physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) which was the only study including at least some aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. “Looking at the nights sky is an experience touching everybody deeply inside, something common to all human beings independent to the language spoken by the individuals”. Deep-sky astrophotography is my passion.