Image Credit: Credit: Rolf Geissinger

This exceptionally beautiful image shows us another side of the nebula known as the Omega Nebula (formally classified as M17). This emission nebula lies about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the Sagittarius constellation.

Lurking in the depths of the dense interstellar clouds of dust and gas are thousands of newly-born stars, which are being churned out at a furious rate. As the bright and massive stars are born, they produce energetic radiation that are slowly eating through the dark shroud that encompasses them.

The Omega nebula isn't alone in this region. Also nearby are the Lagoon nebula, the Trifid nebula and the Eagle nebula. All of which, are known to contain many dark nebulae. Both the Eagle and Omega nebulae can be found in the Sagittarius arm of the galaxy, whilst the Omega nebula can be found about 4,250 light-years away. Lastly, the Eagle nebula is the most distant of the bunch, lying about 5,700 light-years from Earth.

See a larger image here.

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