Feb 10

Light, Wind and Fire

Source: ESO-eso1008 - Photo Release

NGC 346, the brightest star-forming region in the
neighbouring Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy,
some 210 000 light-years away from Earth.
Credit: ESO

This dramatic new image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (NGC 346) that will make you want to keep your eyes on the night sky. Today ESO has released a dramatic new image of NGC 346, the brightest star-forming region in our neighbouring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, 210 000 light-years away towards the constellation of Tucana (the Toucan). The light, wind and heat given off by massive stars have dispersed the glowing gas within and around this star cluster, forming a surrounding wispy nebular structure that looks like a cobweb. NGC 346, like other beautiful astronomical scenes, is a work in progress, and changes as the aeons pass. As yet more stars form from loose matter in the area, they will ignite, scattering leftover dust and gas, carving out great ripples and altering the face of this lustrous object. (read more)

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