Image Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, U.G. Jørgensen, K. Harpsøe

Here is another spectacular picture of the Lagoon Nebula, a region stretching over 100 light-years across, approximately 4,000 to 5,000 light-years from Earth in the Sagittarius constellation.

This cosmic area is vast and beautiful, with the gas and dust clouds condensing and forming millions of massive newborn stars. The ultraviolet radiation emitted from the stars sculpts the gas and dust into the unusual shape you see in the attached image. The most giant of the embedded stars is responsible for illuminating the brightest part of the nebula, which is in the center of the image. The spiraling funnel-esque shape has its own classification — the Hourglass nebula.

This image combines observations performed through three different filters (B, V, R) with the 1.5-meter Danish telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile.


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