by Crash Course
Video Lecture 36 of 47
Not yet rated
Views: 679
Date Added: August 11, 2016

Lecture Description

Astronomers study a lot of gorgeous things, but nebulae might be the most breathtakingly beautiful of them all. Nebulae are clouds of gas and dust in space. They can glow on their own or reflect light from nearby stars. When they glow it’s usually predominantly red from hydrogen and green from oxygen, and when they reflect and scatter light it’s from massive hot stars, so they look blue. Stars are born in some nebulae, and create new ones as they die. Some nebulae are small and dense, others can be dozens or hundreds of light years across.

Crash Course Astronomy Poster:


Table of Contents
Nebulae Are Clouds of Gas And/Or Dust 0:42
They Can Emit Light Or Reflect It 1:20
Elements Change Their Glow 3:31
Nebulae Can Create Stars 5:28


PBS Digital Studios:

Follow Phil on Twitter:

Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook -
Twitter -
Tumblr -
Support CrashCourse on Patreon:


Saturn [credit: Photo by NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute / Gordan Ugarkovic]
Carina Nebula [credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]
Crab Nebula [credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)]
Carina Jets [credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)]
The Twin Jet Nebula [credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA]
Tycho's Supernova Remnant [credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K.Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSS]
Ring Nebula's True Shape [credit: NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)]
3D animation of the Orion nebula [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser]
Stardust [credit: NASA]
From the Pleiades to the Hyades [credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo]
How to Become a Star [credit: ESO]
The Orion Nebula [credit: ESO/Igor Chekalin]
Trapezium Cluster in the Orion Nebula [credit: K.L. Luhman (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.); and G. Schneider, E. Young, G. Rieke, A. Cotera, H. Chen, M. Rieke, R. Thompson (Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.) and NASA/ESA]
PIA08656 [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IRAS/H. McCallon]
Edge-On Protoplanetary Disc in the Orion Nebula [credit: Mark McCaughrean (Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy), C. Robert O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA/ESA]
Hubble's sharpest image of the Orion Nebula with proplyd highlights [credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA), the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team and L. Ricci (ESO)]
Young Stellar Disks in Infrared [credit: D. Padgett (IPAC/Caltech), W. Brandner (IPAC), K. Stapelfeldt (JPL) and NASA/ESA]
The Eagle Nebula, M16 [credit: T.A.Rector (NRAO/AUI/NSF and NOAO/AURA/NSF) and B.A.Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF)]
Pillars of Creation [credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]
Planetary Nebula HFG1 [credit: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF)]
Zooming in on the Horsehead Nebula [credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI); ESO]
Orion, from Head to Toes [credit: Rogelio Andreo Bernal]
Sifting through Dust near Orion’s Belt (mouseover comparison) [credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2]

Course Index

Course Description

In this Crash Course series, marvel at the wonders of astronomy with your host for this intergalactic adventure, the Bad Astronomer himself -- Phil Plait. In just 40 short lessons, you will learn the basics of the oldest science known to humanity.

Be sure to check out links to relevant Photos in the description for each video.


There are no comments. Be the first to post one.
  Post comment as a guest user.
Click to login or register:
Your name:
Your email:
(will not appear)
Your comment:
(max. 1000 characters)
Are you human? (Sorry)