Positioned more than 2000 light-years away in an otherwise unremarkable region of the constellation Orion, a formation dubbed the Cosmic Bat seems to spread its vast wings.
Its spectacular appearance is aided in no small measure by young stars situated at its core, their light doing all sorts of visually interesting things to vast clouds of interstellar dust.
To astronomers, the Bat is more formally known as NGC 1788. Too faint to be seen by the naked eye, its beauty, in this instance, is revealed by the Very Large Telescope, operated by the European Southern Observatory in Chile.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.