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VLC sees star birth in the Large Magellanic Cloud

20 May 2016 Astronomy Now

In this image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), light from blazing blue stars energises the gas left over from the stars’ recent formation. The result is a strikingly colourful emission nebula, called LHA 120-N55, in which the stars are adorned with a mantle of glowing gas. LHA 120-N55 lies within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.

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Hubble sees a diamond in the dust

15 February 2016 Astronomy Now

Surrounded by an envelope of dust, the subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a young pre-main-sequence star known as HBC 1. The star is in an immature and adolescent phase of life, hence its classification — most of a Sun-like star’s life is spent in a stage comparable to human adulthood dubbed the main sequence.

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“The Arrow Missed the Heart” by Lefteris Velissaratos

20 September 2015 Astronomy Now

A stunning juxtaposition of an ethereal solar system body, long-period comet C/2014 E2 Jacques, and the vast, heart-shaped emission nebula IC 1805, some 7,500 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia — winning image of the Planets, Comets & Asteroids category in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition 2015.

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Buried in the heart of a giant

2 July 2015 Astronomy Now

This is a young open cluster of stars known as NGC 2367, an infant stellar grouping that lies at the centre of an immense and ancient structure on the margins of the Milky Way, captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.