July - The Orion Nebula
OmegaCAM — the wide-field optical camera on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) — captured this spectacular image of the Orion Nebula and its associated cluster of young stars. At a distance of about 1350 light-years, the Orion Nebula is one of the closest stellar nurseries to Earth.
Stars form when clumps of gas contract under their own gravity and, if the gas gets hot enough, they ignite. The Orion Nebula is home to approximately 700 stars in various stages of formation.Credit: