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7 images of ghostly nebulae

By: Katherine Butler on Oct. 24, 2011, 6 p.m.
fiery tendrils burning bright in space

Photo: ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2 and Joe DePasquale

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Fiery tendrils burning bright

Here we see Nebula NGC 3582, as seen from the telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) La Silla Observatory in Chile, and its giant loops of gas. "Researchers think dying stars ejected the loops, but this stellar nursery also produces new stars. The young stars emit ultraviolet radiation that causes the gas in the nebula to glow, producing the fiery display," according to This nebula is thought to create massive stars with extreme ultraviolet radiation. It brings to mind a split-second shot of a gigantic explosion surrounding a shadowy image, arms outstretched, of what was once there.