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RE: NGC 6559
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An Anarchic Region of Star Formation

eso1320a.jpg

The Danish 1.54-metre telescope located at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a striking image of NGC 6559, an object that showcases the anarchy that reigns when stars form inside an interstellar cloud.
NGC 6559 is a cloud of gas and dust located at a distance of about 5000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). The glowing region is a relatively small object, just a few light-years across, in contrast to the one hundred light-years and more spanned by its famous neighbour, the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8). Although it is usually overlooked in favour of its distinguished companion, NGC 6559 has the leading role in this new picture.

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Stars, Dust and Nebula in NGC 6559

ngc6559_cfht.jpg

 When stars form, pandemonium reigns. A textbook case is the star forming region NGC 6559. Visible are red glowing emission nebulas of hydrogen, blue reflection nebulas of dust, dark absorption nebulas of dust, and the stars that formed from them. The first massive stars formed from the dense gas will emit energetic light and winds that erode, fragment, and sculpt their birthplace. And then they explode. The resulting morass can be as beautiful as it is complex. After tens of millions of years, the dust boils away, the gas gets swept away, and all that is left is a naked open cluster of stars.

n6559_noao.jpg

NGC 6559 lies about 5000 light-years away toward the constellation of Sagittarius.

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