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.
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.
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.