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Star Forming Region NGC 6357

For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to these tremendously bright and blue stars. The overall red glow near the inner star forming region results from the emission of ionized hydrogen gas. The surrounding nebula, shown above, holds a complex tapestry of gas, dark dust, stars still forming, and newly born stars. The intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds, radiation pressures, magnetic fields, and gravity. NGC 6357 spans about 400 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion.
(text adapted from APOD)

Full-res file is about 157 Megapixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 3,7 x 3,2 (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0,5).
The image is available for Museum, Planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in very high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.

This color image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken through the Anglo Australian Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) UK Schmidt Telescope. The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue and later they were digitized. Credit: Anglo-Australian Observatory, UK Schmidt Telescope, Digitized Sky Survey.

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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.