This is the lovely Rosette nebula, a cluster of large stars forming near the tip of a gigantic molecular cloud found in the Milky Way Galaxy. The distance of this cluster or nebula from the Earth is 5,200 light years (with one light year equivalent to a little less than 10 trillion kilometres), and its diameter is about 130 light years.
The emission of the nebula is perpetuated by the radiation coming from the young stars in the cluster, which in turn stimulate the atoms found in the nebula. This is what causes the strange but beautiful Rosette nebula, often seen clearly through binoculars and telescopes.
I could not stop staring at this photo of the Rosette nebula for about three minutes. One day I hope to witness it in all its breathtaking glory, whenever or wherever that maybe. So for this Valentine’s season, I’m dreaming of nebulas and star emissions, and far-away gaalxies, where everything is complex but beautiful.
And yes, I still have to watch Avatar for the second time and enter the lush universe of Pandora. Can’t wait to be blown away, again.