Stellar nursery's stunning loops


An image from the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) 2.2m telescope in Chile has yielded a striking view of the NGC 3582 nebula.

Vast loops of gas can be seen in the image, looking like the ejecta of stars known as solar prominences.

Here, the gas comes from dying stars. At the same time, radiation from young stars ionises the gas and gives it a bright glow.

The image, by astrophotographer Joe DePasquale, was shortlisted by the observatory in its "Hidden Treasures" competition, and the ESO has now released a video showing where in the night sky this stellar nursery and graveyard sits.

Video courtesy European Southern Observatory

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