30.2 MB (30.0 MB compressed)
3988 x 2649 pixels
33.8 x 22.4 cm ⏐ 13.3 x 8.8 in (300dpi)
ROBERT GENDLER & JIM MISTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER & JIM MISTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gas pillars in the Pelican nebula (IC 5067). Several long streamers of darker dust and gas are seen silhouetted against the bright emission nebula. This is a starbirth region, where gas coalesces under its own gravity until it is hot and dense enough for the nuclear reactions that power stars to begin. The powerful stellar winds of these stars blow holes in the remaining gas, and the radiation from them ionises hydrogen, causing it to glow pink. The Pelican nebula is part of a large region of nebulosity in the constellation Cygnus.
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