Difference between Nebula and Nebulae

Key Difference: ‘Nebula’ is a singular term, and ‘nebulae’ is a plural of nebula. Nebula is referred for extended objects consisting mostly of gas and dust.

‘Nebulae’ is the other name for Nebula. Nebula is a singular term, and ‘nebulae’ is the plural of nebula. Thus, it has a same meaning or description. So, the following content is referred for both the terms: nebula and nebulae.

Nebula is a cloud in deep space consisting of gas or dust. Example: A cloud formed after a star explodes. The word Nebula has been derived from the Latin word, meaning “cloud”. In the earlier time, galaxies were also called nebula by astronomers because of their fuzzy appearance. However, nowadays the word nebula is referred for extended objects consisting mostly of gas and dust. The “Pillars of Creation” is the most famous images of NASA’s. It comes in many shapes and sizes and forms in many different ways.

There is no difference between nebula and nebulae, thus the description, types, etc. will be similar.

Comparison between Nebula and Nebulae:





‘Nebula’ is a singular term

‘Nebulae’ is a plural of nebula



  • A cloud of interstellar gas and dust. 
  • (Formerly) any celestial object that appears nebulous, hazy, or fuzzy, and extended in a telescope view.

Same as nebula


  • Galaxies
  • Globular clusters
  • Open clusters
  • Emission nebula
  • Reflection nebula
  • Dark nebula
  • Planetary nebula

Same as nebula

Made up of

  • Dust
  • Plasma
  • Helium gas
  • Hydrogen

Same as nebula


  • Nebula contains carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, and then they finally expand and merge.

Same as nebula


  • The nebula becomes rocky and lumpy, the reasons are still mysterious.
  • Now researchers have caught shining suns in the act of nebula formation.
  • Is a solar nebula the reason or is gravity the reason?
  • Planetary nebulae actually have something to do with planets.
  • Big photos of nebulae are good for playing the game with kids.

Image Courtesy: fascinatingly.com

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