NGC 6520

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NGC 6520 is an open star cluster located about 5,500 light years away towards the constellation Sagittarius. It is about 10 light years across. The bright blue stars are only a few million years old, much younger than our Sun.

Blocking the light of NGC 6520 is Barnard 86, an absorption nebula and molecular cloud. It contains is filled with thick dust that obscures the star cluster. Surrounding the cluster and nebula in this image is part of the dense starscape of our own Milky Way.

Image and information from NASA.

The California Nebula

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The California Nebula (NGC 1499) is a large emission nebula and star-forming cloud of around 100 light-years long, located some 1,000-1,500 light-years away in the Orion spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy (where our Solar System is also located) in the constellation of Perseus, what makes it one of the nearest H II regions to Earth. It is so named because it appears to resemble the outline of the US State of California. It has a very low surface brightness and it’s very difficult to observe visually.

A colorful gathering of middle-aged stars

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The bright star cluster NGC 3532 covers an area of the sky that is almost twice the size of the Full Moon.

The MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a richly colorful view of the bright star cluster NGC 3532. Some of the stars still shine with a hot bluish color, but many of the more massive ones have become red giants and glow with a rich orange hue.

NGC 3532 is a bright open cluster located some 1,300 light-years away in the constellation Carina the Keel. It is informally known as the Wishing Well Cluster as it resembles scattered silver coins that have been dropped into a well. It is also referred to as the Football Cluster, although how appropriate this is depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. It acquired the name because of its oval shape, which citizens of rugby-playing nations might see as resembling a rugby ball.

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