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Emission nebulae, optical image

Emission nebulae, optical image

R560/0467

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Credit

ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Emission nebulae, optical image. Emission nebulae are clouds of gas and dust that glow as the hydrogen gas they contain is ionised by radiation from the hot stars embedded in them. The Flaming Star nebula (IC 405) is seen at upper right with its neighbour the Tadpole nebula (IC 410) at lower left. IC 405 is illuminated by the bright star AE Aurigae, while IC 410 is lit by a cluster of young stars (NGC 1893) that formed from the coalescence of gas from the nebula, leaving dark holes in its structure. The flaming star nebula lies about 1600 light years from Earth, in the constellation Auriga.

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