MPIA-HD, BIRKLE, SLAWIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MPIA-HD, BIRKLE, SLAWIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Great Orion Nebula. Optical image of the emission nebulae (pink/white) M42 (centre) and M43 (above M42) in the constellation Orion. North is at top. Emission nebulae are clouds of gas and dust that glow pink due to the ionisation of hydrogen by hot young stars within them. They are about 1500 light years away. NGC 1977 (blue, upper centre) is a reflection nebula.
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