Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #36

Activity overview:

Astronomers study a lot of gorgeous things, but nebulae might be the most breathtakingly beautiful of them all. Nebulae are clouds of gas and dust in space. They can glow on their own or reflect light from nearby stars. When they glow it’s usually predominantly red from hydrogen and green from oxygen, and when they reflect and scatter light it’s from massive hot stars, so they look blue. Stars are born in some nebulae, and create new ones as they die. Some nebulae are small and dense, others can be dozens or hundreds of light years across.

Crash Course Astronomy Poster:


Table of Contents
Nebulae Are Clouds of Gas And/Or Dust 0:42
They Can Emit Light Or Reflect It 1:20
Elements Change Their Glow 3:31
Nebulae Can Create Stars 5:28


PBS Digital Studios:

Follow Phil on Twitter:

Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook -
Twitter -
Tumblr -
Support CrashCourse on Patreon:


Saturn [credit: Photo by NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute / Gordan Ugarkovic]
Carina Nebula [credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]
Crab Nebula [credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)]
Carina Jets [credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)]
The Twin Jet Nebula [credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA]
Tycho's Supernova Remnant [credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K.Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSS]
Ring Nebula's True Shape [credit: NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)]
3D animation of the Orion nebula [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser]
Stardust [credit: NASA]
From the Pleiades to the Hyades [credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo]
How to Become a Star [credit: ESO]
The Orion Nebula [credit: ESO/Igor Chekalin]
Trapezium Cluster in the Orion Nebula [credit: K.L. Luhman (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.); and G. Schneider, E. Young, G. Rieke, A. Cotera, H. Chen, M. Rieke, R. Thompson (Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.) and NASA/ESA]
PIA08656 [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IRAS/H. McCallon]
Edge-On Protoplanetary Disc in the Orion Nebula [credit: Mark McCaughrean (Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy), C. Robert O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA/ESA]
Hubble's sharpest image of the Orion Nebula with proplyd highlights [credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA), the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team and L. Ricci (ESO)]
Young Stellar Disks in Infrared [credit: D. Padgett (IPAC/Caltech), W. Brandner (IPAC), K. Stapelfeldt (JPL) and NASA/ESA]
The Eagle Nebula, M16 [credit: T.A.Rector (NRAO/AUI/NSF and NOAO/AURA/NSF) and B.A.Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF)]
Pillars of Creation [credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]
Planetary Nebula HFG1 [credit: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF)]
Zooming in on the Horsehead Nebula [credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI); ESO]
Orion, from Head to Toes [credit: Rogelio Andreo Bernal]
Sifting through Dust near Orion’s Belt (mouseover comparison) [credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2]

Tagged under: John Green,Hank Green,vlogbrothers,Crash Course,crashcourse,Nebula (Celestial Object Category),Astronomy (Field Of Study),Phil Plait,Orion Nebula (Nebula),Pillars Creation

Find more lesson plans like this:

16th-Century Art of Northern Europe & Spain: Characteristics, Techniques & Famous Works

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #36 on Google+ Share Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #36 on Twitter Share Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #36 on Facebook Pin Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #36 Email Nebulae: Crash Course Astronomy #36

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.


Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking


Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices


Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome