J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tadpole nebula (IC 410). The tadpole-shaped clumps of dust and gas that give this nebula its name are left of upper centre. This 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 nebulae lie about 1600 light years from Earth, in the constellation Auriga. Different colours represent different ionised gases; sulphur is red, hydrogen is green and oxygen is blue.
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