The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope team in Chile released this gorgeous image today, featuring a stellar nursery in NGC 6357, found in the direction of the Scorpio constellation. This formation has been imaged before, but scientists concentrated on the high-mass stars in the center. The VLT took a broad view to create "the most detailed image so far," and this time the captivating sections are on the outer edges. Clusters of young (a few million years old) stars are pushing away the dust and gas with their intense ultraviolet light, creating holes in the clouds, and on the far right edge, "elephant trunk columns."
Photo: ESO / Very Large Telescope