ESO captures infrared image of Lobster Nebula [VIDEO]

Feb. 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM  |  Updated Feb. 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM   |   Comments

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The European Southern Observatory at the Paranal Observatory in Chile (ESO) and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have reportedly captured an image of the Lobster Nebula, a "cluster of dust and stars located nearly 10,000 light-years from Earth," Science Recorder noted Wednesday.

According to ESO, the image was captured using its Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA). The nebula's study is just a small part of a huge survey titled, "VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea."

"VISTA is the largest and most powerful survey telescope ever built, and is dedicated to surveying the sky in infrared light. The VVV survey is scanning the central bulge and some of the plane of our galaxy to create a huge data set that will help astronomers to discover more about the origin, early life, and structure of the Milky Way," ESO wrote

According to ESO, the Lobster Nebula, also known as NGC 6357, is located in the constellation of Scorpius and contains thousands of stars that burn blue, white, and orange. The purple gasses that spread from the center create the illusion of a lobster crawling through space, hence the galaxy's name.

The nebula's image could provide astronomers with large amounts of information on how young stars grow and evolve in the universe, Science Recorder noted.

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