In the Prawn Nebula

A portion of a huge stellar nursery nicknamed the Prawn Nebula that is 6,000 light years from Earth. Credit European Southern Observatory, via European Pressphoto Agency. A telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured three clusters of bright newborn stars in the Prawn Nebula, a dense concentration of ionized gas and dust.

Just a few million years old, the stars glow in ultraviolet light, illuminating the nebula’s gas clouds as well. The young stars form from the remnants of old stars that died in supernova explosions. The nebula is about 6,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Scorpius.