Cosmic Clouds in Cygnus

These cosmic clouds of gas and dust driftthrough rich star fields along theplane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the high flying constellationCygnus.They're too faint to be seen with the unaided eye though, even on aclear, dark night.Image data from acamera and telephoto lensusing narrowband filterswas used to construct this 10 degree wide field of view.The deep mosaic reveals a region that includes star forming dust clouds seen in silhouette against thecharacteristic glow of atomic hydrogen and oxygen gas.NGC 6888 is the standout emission nebula near the top.Blown by winds from an massive Wolf-Rayet star it'sabout 25 light-years across and known as theCrescent Nebula.A faint bluish curl just below center in the frame is also thesignature of a Wolf-Rayet star.Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of their stellarlives, both stars will ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacularsupernova explosion.Toward the right, a massive, young O type star powers the glow of Sh2-101, theTulip Nebula.

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