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International Year of Astronomy - IYA2009
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How can there be clouds in space?
There are many different kinds of clouds in space, but none of them have anything to do with what we know as clouds on Earth – which are made out of tiny droplets of water. Originally – before the invention of the telescope – astronomers referred to all the shining, extended structures without clearly defined edges that they saw in space as ‘clouds’ (nebulae in Latin). Since even entire galaxies can appear to be cloudy patches to the naked eye, they were also called ‘nebulae’.
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Last update: 23/09/2009 09:50:38