Image Credit: ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2, David De Martin

This region, called Gum 15, is just as obscure as it is beautiful. From within the gaseous walls of this interstellar home, hundreds of newly-born stars are being forged, all incredibly hot and even more energetic. We are witnessing this stellar nursery at a crucial tipping point in its evolution (thanks, in part, to the ESO's  Cosmic Gems program) because,  as each individual star emerges from its stellar cocoon, it tears away at its home piece-by-piece, until eventually, there will be nothing left.

Captured using the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, this image gives us a detailed look at the contrasting shades of black and pink. The latter comes from a series of partially ionized clouds (H11 regions), while the latter color comes from filaments of coarse interstellar dust grains, making up dark nebulae.

Gum 15 can be found in the constellation of Vela (The Sails), some 3000 light-years from Earth. It is located within the general vicinity of this glorious area (seen in wide-field):

Image Credit: ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2, David De Martin

Learn more here, courtesy of Astrowatch.

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