Picture of the Day: Young, Massive Stars Shape Their Birthplace

More

Enormous nebulas condense to form enormous stars. Then the stars explode.

nebula_page.jpg

NASA

When gaseous nebulas condense to form a region's early, enormous stars, the stars, in turn, shape the gas. Blasting it with light, they shift and split the gas's shapes and structures, casting some of it far into space.

Then, they explode.

The star-forming region Simeis 188, pictured above, has yet to lose some of its massive stars, and color filtering makes its different types of nebulas visible. Hydrogen, its electrons stripped by the light of young stars, glows red in emission nebulas; dust, scattered by the same light, seems blue; and other dust, dark and murky, subsumes light in absorption nebulas. After the dust from the young star's explosion boils away, and the nebulas's gas is blown away -- a process that takes many millions of years -- an open stellar cluster remains.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Jump to comments
Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In