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Posted by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

This cosmic view shows off an otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410, captured under clear Netherlands skies with telescope and narrowband filters. Above and right of center you can spot two remarkable inhabitants of the interstellar pond of gas and dust, known as the tadpoles of IC 410. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars. Formed in the interstellar cloud a mere 4 million years ago, the intensely hot, bright cluster stars energize the glowing gas. Globules composed of denser cooler gas and dust, the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long and are likely sites of ongoing star formation. Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation their heads are outlined by bright ridges of ionized gas while their tails trail away from the cluster's central young stars. IC 410 and embedded NGC 1893 lie some 10,000 light-years away, toward the nebula-rich constellation Auriga.

Photo by Sander de Jong

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