Space Reality Show -- Part II

ESO's Very Large Telescope

AB7 Binary Star System

The binary star system called AB7 packs a punch. A combined "wind" of charged particles is perhaps a billion times more powerful than what our Sun produces. The wind pressurizes interstellar gas to create the bubble shape

Centaurus A Galaxy

The galaxy Centaurus A was first identified by radio telescopes. It's between 10 million and 13 million light-years away and is thought to contain a black hole about 100 times as massive as the Sun

Chamaelean I Complex

The sky is strange near the Chamaeleon I complex of bright nebulae and hot stars in the constellation of the same name, close to the southern celestial pole

Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula is about 1,200 light years away and packed with rarified gas that's being ejected by the hot central star and lit by its intense ultraviolet radiation

Cosmic Collision

Cosmic collision: Two opposite jets from a developing star ram into interstellar matter about 1,500 light-years away in Orion, a region of intense star formation. The enigmatic "waterfall" to the upper left is unexplained

Horsehead Nebula

The famous Horsehead Nebula sits amid the Orion molecular cloud complex. Stars behind the cosmic dust light its fringes


This remnant of a supernova explosion is about 6,000 light-years from Earth. It contains a neutron star near its center that spins 30 times per second. Green light is mostly hydrogen, and the blue light comes from electrons moving at significant fractions of light-speed

NGC 6872 Galaxy

NGC 6872, the larger galaxy, has many bluish objects that are regions of heavy star formation. They may have been triggered by the recent passage of smaller galaxy, IC 4970, just above the center. The bright object to the lower right is a foreground star in our own Milky Way

NGC 1232 Galaxy

Galaxy NGC 1232, about 100 million light years away, has older reddish stars near the center while the spiral arms are populated by young blue stars. Note the distorted companion galaxy on the left side

Messier 66

NGC 3627, also known as Messier 66, is about 35 million light years away in the constellation Leo. Like many spiral galaxies, it has a bulge of stars at the center swirling wound a supermassive black hole

Orion Nebula

Bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, the Orion nebula is a wide complex of gas and dust, illuminated by the massive, hot Trapezium stars at its core

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