Scientists have captured a stunning image of a dust-shrouded stellar cluster - containing hundreds of young, hot and massive stars - located 5,500 light-years away, that provides an unparalleled view of star formation.
The image shows the star cluster RCW 38 in the constellation of Vela (The Sails), captured by the HAWK-I infrared imager mounted on European Southern Observatory (ESO)'s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.
This is in stark contrast to the streams of cooler cosmic dust winding through the region, which glow gently in dark shades of red and orange. The contrast creates this spectacular scene - a piece of celestial artwork.
HAWK-I operates at near-infrared wavelengths. It has many scientific roles, including obtaining images of nearby galaxies or large nebulae as well as individual stars and exoplanets.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)