EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Lagoon Nebula, optical image. This is an emission nebula, a huge cloud of gas and dust that glows as the hydrogen it contains is ionised by radiation from the hot young stars that have formed within it. This nebula lies around 5000 light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. Image taken using the Wide Field Imager (WFI) instrument at the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at the La Silla Observatory, Chile. Image published in 2009.
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