Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This is the Wizard Nebula — formally known as NGC 7380 — an emission nebula that is located approximately 7,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cepheus. This stellar nursery spans more than 100 light-years across, meaning, if we could see it with the unaided eye, it would appear more than five times larger than the angular extent of the moon.

Most of the activity going on within the confines of NGC 7380 is once again obscured from view, but we know that protostars are encased within the stellar cocoons that thrive in such chaos. Many are already starting to emerge,with them having only bloomed 5 million years ago.

To all of our astro-fans that are handy with a telescope, this celestial area can be seen in the northern hemisphere.

See a larger image here.

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