The Wings of the Seagull Nebula : 2012

Photograph by

Team led by Oliver Hainault

About this image

Dark clouds of dust and clouds of gas glowing red define the Seagull Nebula. The red colour comes from hydrogen gas that is ionised by the ultraviolet light of hot, young stars within the nebula. The same light, scattered by dust, gives patches of a gentle blue haze. This is typical of what is known as an HII region. Known to astronomers as IC 2177, the Seagull Nebula is a star forming region that lies around 3700 light years from Earth on the border of the constellations Canis Minor and Monoceros. This frame spans about 100 light years in width. This image was gathered using the MPG/ESO 2.2 metre telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, Chile. ePOD/ESO, European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany