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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT
Infrared VISTA view of a stellar nursery in Monoceros
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Infrared VISTA view of a stellar nursery in Monoceros

October 12, 2010
This dramatic infrared image shows the nearby star formation region Monoceros R2, located some 2700 light-years away in the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn). The picture was created from exposures in the near infrared bands Y, J and Ks taken by the VISTA survey telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory. Monoceros R2 is an association of massive hot young stars illuminating a beautiful collection of reflection nebulae, embedded in a large molecular cloud.