J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Butterfly nebula (IC 1318). Part of the light from the butterfly nebula is obscured by the dark nebula LDN 889 (diagonal dark area at upper centre). The butterfly nebula is an emission nebula, a huge cloud of gas and dust that glows as the hydrogen it contains is ionised by radiation from the hot young stars that have formed within it. The butterfly nebula is located 5000 light years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Different colours represent different ionised gases; sulphur is red, hydrogen is green and oxygen is blue.
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