TONY & DAPHNE HALLAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY & DAPHNE HALLAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Milky Way, optical image. The Milky Way is our own galaxy. Because Earth lies in one of its spiral arms, we look into the central mass of stars and see the galaxy as a band of light crossing the sky. There are numerous nebulae (pink) visible here. The brightest, just left of centre, is the Lagoon Nebula (M8). Emission nebulae such as these glow red due to ionisation of their hydrogen gas by radiation from hot young stars embedded within.
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