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Prawn Nebula Cooks Up Stars In Amazing New Photos, by Miriam Kramer Space.com

SPACE.com 





There is something fishy about this deep-space cosmic object.

A powerful telescope in Chile has produced amazing new photos of a giant stellar nursery known as the Prawn Nebula. Shining about 6,000 light-years from Earth, the hub of star birth was imaged by the VLT Survey Telescope at the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory in what might be the sharpest photo of the cosmic object ever taken, ESO officials said.

The Prawn Nebula is about 250 light-years across and covers an area of sky equivalent to four times that of the full moon, but it is faint. According to ESO officials, most of the light emitted by the celestial sight is in wavelengths not visible to the human eye. [50 Fabulous Deep-Space Nebula Photos]

"Over the last few million years this region of sky has formed many stars, both individually and in clusters," ESO officials said in a statement. "There is a large scattered star cluster named Collinder 316 which extends over most of this image. This cluster is a part of a much larger gathering of very hot and luminous stars. Also visible are many dark structures or cavities, where interstellar matter has been blown away by the powerful winds generated by the nearby hot stars."

You can take a video tour of the Prawn Nebula set to music by Molly Durnin. ...more



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