A belated happy birthday to the Hubble Space Telescope: Our favorite source of wonder and joy was 24 years old on April 24, and the Hubble site celebrated it with this spectacular visualization of the Monkey Head Nebula.
NGC 2174 is "a star-forming region in which bright, newborn stars near the center of the nebula illuminate the surrounding gas with energetic radiation. This radiation, along with strong stellar winds, erodes away the lower density gas. Pockets of higher density gas resist this erosion, and form pillars and peaks along the inner edge of the roughly circular cloud."
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