- from Stars & Nebulae
On a clear night, you might be able to see more than 3,000 stars. You wouldn’t even need a telescope! But there are billions of other stars we can’t see with the naked eye.
The night sky holds clues about the life and death of stars. The clues are found in clouds of glowing gas sprinkled with black dust. These clouds are called nebulae (NEB-u-lie). The word nebula is the singular form of nebulae. It comes from the Latin word for cloud. Seen through a low-power telescope, nebulae look like cotton balls. But high-power telescopes show they are huge formations of many shapes and colors. Some nebulae show that stars are being born. Others are left over from the death of stars.