Jellyfish Nebula and its surroundings (Image Credit: Patrick Gilliland)

Found approximately 5,000 light-years from Earth in the Gemini constellation, the Jellyfish nebula is a small section of a large supernova remnant known as IC 443.

Many other small objects pervade this expanse of space, including Eta Geminorum: the brightest star in the field of view (technically speaking, there are actually three stars. They just look like one from our vantage point)

Astronomers estimate the the progenitor star—the one that exploded in a fiery supernova, with its guts comprising the supernova remnant known to resemble a Jellyfish—died 30,000 years ago. Empires have been built, destroyed and replaced in merely a fraction of that time, but to the universe, it’s the blink of an eye.

This image of the Jellyfish Nebula put the photographer—Patrick Gilliland—on the shortlist for Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The winner is set to be announced on September 17th. (See other entries here, and here. See a larger image here)


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