Why does the horsehead nebula always look the same?

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solidsnake

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Or any nebula, for that matter? If a nebula is made of gas and dust, shouldn't it keep billowing and changing shape?
 
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yevaud

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Over time, yes it certainly will. But that length of time is thousands, if not tens of thousands of years, before we could notice major changes.<br /><br />Sorry. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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solidsnake

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Thanks for the answer!<br />But why does it take so long? Just because it's big and vast? Because it seems to me that it should still change shape on a daily basis. Today, it's the Horsehead Nebula. Tomorrow, it's the Dead Woodchuck Nebula. Who knows, and then the day after that, it could be the something else...
 
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yevaud

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Most certainly, it could be.<br /><br />Remember the scale we're dealing with. A Nebula can be light years across. Small changes are virtually unnoticable. And the time frame they move in aren't compatible with a normal Human lifespan. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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shydn

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Or maybe the horsehead nebula always looks the same, because it's so far away.
 
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Saiph

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That flag indicates that Yevaud is an official moderator on this site, as does the funny colored name and strange title (jack of all trades in his case).<br /><br />While I don't have a flag, I am funny colored, and have a specific title of Mission Control Team...we're basically moderator assistants.<br /><br />As for the nebulae question: Yeah, it's the scale of the matter. Those clouds are light years across...Even if a star explodes in one, it'll take years for the shockwave to really change anything. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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shydn

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Is that a paid position? And the reason also could be because the nebulae is so far away. It might be changing vastly internally and we would never know it from this distance.
 
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vogon13

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The Crab Nebula has been seen to change on periods of years.<br /><br />Its' proximity to earth and its' high expansion velocity allow the appearance to change noticeably.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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telfrow

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<font color="yellow">Is that a paid position?</font><br /><br />No. We're volunteers. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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No they are not paid, except in the admiration of the members here. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />Regarding the nebula, yes if we were close, we could see vast changes taking place. And we can not tell from this distance. The horsehead is ~ 1500 light years away.<br /> Since light travels at 186,000 miles per second, imagine how far it travels in 1500 years. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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But a friendly one <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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shydn

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Brilliatn! I love aliens. I love Stargate. Are you anything like the Goa'uld? Have you invented a Stargate? We should collaborate. What do you call yourselves? The Vogons?
 
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telfrow

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Let's keep the thread on topic, shall we? If you want to discuss Stargate or Vogons, please do it in the Sci-Fi Forum. <br /><br />Thanks. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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vogon13

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We could discuss the Vogon Nebula here, though . . . . <br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Since this is obviously a new person, don't you think you should explain "FTL"??? <br /><br />And LY?? (even though it's only a TLA, not a TLA)<br /><br />Maybe even IC?? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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And APOD? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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No I'm just throwing some of your self righteous rants back in your face. Since you won't help, (And teaching is not using terms the recipient doesn't understand).... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Since Steve won't explain what he is taliking about...<br /><br />LY= Light Year<br />FTL= Faster than Light (Impossible)<br />IC= a very large catelogue of stars.<br />APOD= Astronomy Picture of the Day website.<br /><br />Click here to check out APOD every day. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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spacester

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hehehehe<br /><br />. . . those who live in glass houses . . . <br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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solidsnake

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Thanks so much for the very informative posts! I definitely have a better appreciation for how vast these objects are.
 
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