NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
RCW 120 nebula. Three-colour composite image of the RCW 120 nebula, made from infrared observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope - blue represents 3.6-micron light and green shows light of 8 microns. Red is 24-micron light detected by Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer. RCW 120 is an H II emission nebula in the southern Milky Way, located around 4,300 light-years from Earth. The ring of dust is actually glowing in infrared colors that human eyes cannot see, but show up brightly when viewed by Spitzer's infrared detectors. Astronomers believe rings like this are sculpted by the powerful light of giant O stars - the most massive type of star known to exist. At the centre of the ring are a two giant stars whose intense ultraviolet light has.
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