A new interactive game has appeared on the US Aerospace Agency website. The user needs to guess the name of the nebula from its appearance.

In November, NASA traditionally celebrates #NebulaNovember – the month of November is dedicated to nebulae. Name That Nebula was released this year. The user is asked to guess the name of the nebula by its appearance.

In general, almost all known nebulae have at least two names – one is official, the other is simpler, it is often chosen based on external similarity. For example, the Horsehead Nebula is officially called IC 434, but it does look like a horse’s head. It is approximately 3.5 light years across and lies south of the star Alnitak (Zeta Orion), the eastern star of Orion’s Belt.

The game Name That Nebula is exactly this – the participant must guess what the scientists reminded of the nebula when they called it. There are three levels of difficulty.

The game is available here.

Nebulae are the real favorites of the public, some of the most famous space attractions. This is a section of the interstellar medium that stands out for its radiation or absorption of radiation against the general background of the sky.

Previously, astronomers called so any celestial objects that are stationary relative to the stars, which, in contrast to them, have a diffuse, blurred appearance, like a small cloud (used in astronomy for a “nebula”, the Latin term nebula means “cloud”). Over time, it turned out that some of them, for example, the Orion nebula, are composed of interstellar gas and dust and belong to our Galaxy. Others, “white” nebulae, like in Andromeda and in the Triangle, turned out to be giant star systems. To date, there are 1,500 planetary nebulae known in our Galaxy of 200 billion stars.