Stars are born

The stellar nursery sharpless 29.
The stellar nursery Sharpless 29.
ESO/M. Kornmesser

This image from the ESO’s Very Large Telescope captures a glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. 

Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot young stars within the nebula.

The region of sky pictured is listed in the Sharpless catalogue of H II regions: interstellar clouds of ionised gas, rife with star formation. Also known as Sh 2-29, Sharpless 29 is located about 5500 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), next door to the larger Lagoon Nebula. It contains many astronomical wonders, including the highly active star formation site of NGC 6559, the nebula at the centre of the image.

Best viewed in full screen.

Please login to favourite this article.