ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lassell's engraving of the Orion nebula (M42). Lassell was a British astronomer who discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, in 1846. After several other notable discoveries, he moved to Malta in 1852-3 in order to see the stars in clearer skies. It was here that he sketched his view of the Orion nebula in 1854. This is an emission nebula, a cloud of gas and dust in which starbirth takes place, and is found in the constellation Orion, some 1500 light years from Earth.
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