A huge cloud of gas that looks like the head of a seagull shines brightly in a gorgeous new picture snapped by a telescope in Chile.
The photo, taken by a telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory, shows the head portion of the Seagull Nebula. The cloud of gas spotlighted in the image glows intensely due to radiation blasted out by a hot young star at its heart, scientists said.
Like other nebulas, the Seagull is a stellar nursery — an enormous cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases where stars are being born. Nebulas come in a variety of sizes and shapes, some of which spur astronomers’ imaginations and evoke comparisons to animals or familiar objects.