Image Credit: WISE, IRSA, NASA; (Processing Francesco Antonucci)

Dust reigns supreme in this stunning portrait of the Tadpole Nebula (otherwise known as IC 410); a star forming  region that lurks about 12,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Auriga.

In this newly-processed image (taken at infrared wavelengths by NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer [WISE] satellite), the Tadpole nebula is seen as never before. First and foremost is its gargantuan size. Throughout the 100 light-years of spacetime it encompasses, are numerous notable stars and miniature objects, like a bright, but quaint, open cluster known as NGC 1893. These stars are just 4 million years old, which means they are virtually newborns, They are, however, extremely powerful. Their energetic radiation, along with their fast-moving stellar winds, shape the Tadpole and give it character.

Also worth noting are the streams of material that sweep beneath and to the left of the brightest region, kind of like a cradle. Of course, we can't forget the tadpoles themselves either. It's believed that both dense arcs of gas and dust are places of ongoing star formation, each spanning a little over 10 light-years across.

See a larger image here.


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