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Pacman nebula

Pacman nebula

C006/4382

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Credit

J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pacman nebula (NGC 281). 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. Silhouetted against the bright nebula are several small, dense blobs known as Bok globules. These are compact regions of gas and dust in the latter stages of the process of star formation. The nebula lies some 10,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.

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