J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-P METSAVAINIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nebulae in the constellation Cygnus. The Butterfly nebula is at left, the Crescent nebula is at upper centre and the Tulip nebula is at right. These are emission nebulae, huge clouds of gas and dust that glow as the hydrogen they contain is ionised by radiation from the hot young stars that have formed within them. Different colours represent different ionised gases; sulphur is red, hydrogen is green and oxygen is blue.
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