Cloudlike Patch Crossword Clue

Cloud-like patch crossword clue. Daily telegraph Sydney crossword on 22 May 2017. 6 letters

The answer is NEBULA

A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Originally, nebula was a name for any diffuse astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The Andromeda Galaxy, for instance, was once referred to as the Andromeda Nebula (and spiral galaxies in general as “spiral nebulae”) before the true nature of galaxies was confirmed in the early 20th century by Vesto Slipher, Edwin Hubble and others.

Most nebulae are of vast size, even millions of light years in diameter. Contrary to fictional depictions where starships hide in nebulae as thick as cloud banks, in reality a nebula that is barely visible to the human eye from Earth would appear larger, but no brighter, from close by. The Orion Nebula, the brightest nebula in the sky that occupies a region twice the diameter of the full Moon, can be viewed with the naked eye but was missed by early astronomers.

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