December 2011 — Infrared VISTA view of a stellar nursery in Monoceros
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). Monoceros R2 is an association of massive hot young stars illuminating the surrounding reflection nebulae. 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.
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Acknowledegment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit