(CNN) – A new image from a European Southern Observatory telescope shows a Nebula that’s actually a cosmic nursery full of newborn stars.
It’s called the “Seagull Nebula” because it looks like a bird in flight.
What you’re really seeing is a collection of gas clouds made up of the basic elements of stars – that’s dust, hydrogen, helium and other heavy elements.
The cloud that makes up what appears to be wings is 100 light years across.
Its color and glow come from newborn and still developing stars within energizing gas around them and emitting radiation.
The gas cloud that looks like the gull’s head is more compact and houses the Nebula’s biggest star.
It resembles an eye, and it’s 20 times more massive than our sun.
Some of the glow you see is also made of light reflected from outside the Nebula.
(This story was originally published on August 7, 2019)