Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


This is the Rosette Nebula as you've never seen it before. The region, which can be found about 5,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn), is named as such due to its flowery appearance. Only, this cosmic flower is rather large - measuring in at about 130 light-years in diameter (with an estimated 10,000 solar masses of material) - and very unflower-like, as its filled with the light of thousands of energetic baby stars. (Many of said stars are still encased in their stellar cocoons, not yet fully awakened from their eternal slumber.)


Regardless of this, the hot UV radiation has had a substantial impact on the overall shape of this region. For that matter, if you look closely, you'll note a rather  large hole. This 'hole,' in all actuality, is a cavity carved into the surrounding material thanks to the close proximity from the stellar nursery. (It can be seen in much more clarity here) The stars - in all their fury - eject large quantities of ultraviolet radiation into the superheated materials through stellar winds, which is, in turn, responsible for the erosion.


Apart from my being favorite look at the Rosette nebula, this particular image was taken at infrared wavelengths. The little bubbles reveal the locations of very hot O-type stars. Stars of this stellar classification have temperatures that can reach about 25,000 kelvins.

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