The European Southern Observatory’s VLT Survey Telescope captured this spectacular view of NGC 3199, a “crescent-shaped cocoon of gas and dust” in the southern constellation of Carina some 12,000 light years from Earth. The nebula was first noted by John Herschel in 1834 and added to his catalogue of interesting objects. The bright crescent feature is part of a much larger, fainter cloud of gas and dust. It also contains a massive, extremely hot Wolf-Rayet star known as HD 89358 that blows intense stellar winds into the surrounding environment, helping shape NGC 3199’s lopsided structure. This wide-angle view comes courtesy of the VST’s 256-megapixel OmegaCAM camera, which can image an area twice the size of the full moon.
This image shows a lonely galaxy known as Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, or WLM for short. Although considered part of our Local Group of dozens of galaxies, WLM stands alone at the group’s outer edges as one of its most remote members. In fact, WLM is so small and secluded that it may never have interacted with any other galaxy in the history of the universe.