It’s March (already!?), which means it is time for MARCH MADNESS!!! This isn’t just any March Madness bracket; this bracket is out-of-this-world (sorry). Each week during the month of March, I’m planning to share some information about different nebulae named for animals. Polls on Twitter will be used to decide which nebulae progress to the next round, during which I will share some new facts about the nebulae that move on. You can follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #NebulaMM2019.
What is a nebula?
A nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in outer space. Nebulae vary in size and composition and can have atomic, ionized, or even molecular gas. Some nebulae consist of molecular clouds which are sometimes affectionately called stellar nurseries (if they contain star-forming regions, that is!).
Nebulae are often named for what observers think they look like, and I've selected 16 nebulae that have been named for animals. I've divided these up into those named for birds, mammals, sea creatures, and bugs, and each week we will eliminate a handful of nebulae and learn a bit more about the rest.
ROUND 1: Physical Characteristics
This round focuses on some quick stats: broad physical characteristics like coordinates, distance, and radius.
Eagle Nebula vs. Emu Nebula
Owl Nebula vs. Parrot’s Head Nebula
Cat’s Paw Nebula vs. Horse Head Nebula
Monkey Head Nebula vs. Otter Nebula
Crab Nebula vs. Lobster Nebula
Manatee Nebula vs. Turtle Nebula
Ant Nebula vs. Butterfly Nebula
Red Spider Nebula vs. Tarantula Nebula
Which nebulae are your picks? Share in the comments, and don't forget to follow along on Twitter!