What Do You Call a Cloud in Space That Is Composed of Dust and Gas?

A cloud in space that is composed of dust and gas is call a nebula. The word "nebula" is derived from the Latin word for "cloud," and nebulae in space are indeed large interstellar clouds made up of dust, hydrogen, helium and plasma.

The study of nebulae is of particular interest to astronomers because they indicate much about stellar and planetary formations. There are four types of nebula, characterized by different gaseous and particulate composition. They are:

  • Planetary nebula
  • H II regions
  • Supernova remnant
  • Dark nebula

Some of the largest known and identified  nebulae in the Milky Way are:

  • Crab Nebula
  • Eagle Nebula
  • Orion Nebula
  • Pelican Nebula
  • Ring Nebula
  • Rosette Nebula