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Nebula
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Space is filled with clouds of gas and dust called nebulae. In an emission nebula such as the Orion Nebula Mosaic (at left), the gas visibly glows because of hot nearby stars. Dark nebulae, such as Horsehead in Orion’s belt, appear as shadows against a glowing area. Reflection nebulae mirror the light their gas clouds catch from nearby stars.

Observations with the space telescope confirm that the Orion Nebula Mosaic contains circumstellar disks, thought by some astronomers to be planet-forming regions.

The Hubble Space Telescope has expanded astronomical knowledge into the farthest regions of the universe—nearly to the earliest moments of time. It has confirmed the existence of thousands of remote galaxies and of black holes. Closer to home, it has given us our first good look at the planet Pluto.
 


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