From Astronomy Wiki / Space Wiki

A nebula (plural nebulas or nebulae) is a clump of gas either created by the death of stars or just a concentration of normal gas formed from the Big Bang. In nebulae, if there are enough mass and the gas is dense enough, stars can form.

Nebulae without stars are usually called simply gas clouds.

A vast majoriy of stars form from nebulae. If nebulae didn't exist, the The Sun (and since there's no gas also Earth) wouldn't exist.

Most nebulae are colorful because of stars lighting them up, either stars inside the nebula or an unrelated star, but there alre also dark nebulae which appear completely dark.

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