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IC 1871

This is the central section of the nebula commonly known as The Soul Nebula. It's an extremely active region, with pressure being exerted from two directions: young star clusters off both the right and left edges of the image.

 

The many and varied features have beautiful textures and shapes. Among them, be sure not to miss the incredible "little" droplet near the right edge. These objects are unimaginably vast. That we can see them at all is only because we're far away from them. At this nebula's distance of 7,500 light years, that droplet is almost 1.5 light years in diameter! The entire image is almost 91 light years across.

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Uploaded on October 31, 2014