ROBERT GENDLER / MARTIN PUGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER / MARTIN PUGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Emission nebula (NGC 6188), optical image. Emission nebulae are clouds of gas and dust that are ionised by radiation from hot stars within them, causing them to glow. This nebula lies around 4000 light years from Earth in the disc of our Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation Ara. The ionising radiation comes from the open cluster NGC 6193 (upper centre), which condensed from the gas cloud around 3 million years ago. The dark patches in the nebula are due to dust clouds obscuring the light from behind.
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