Stunning photo of giant space cloud and baby stars

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Light from the Darkness: This wide-field view shows a dark cloud where new stars are forming along with cluster of brilliant stars that have already burst out of their dusty stellar nursery. This cloud is known as Lupus 3 and it lies about 600 light-years
(image by ESO/F. Comeron)

A jaw-dropping new photo from a telescope in South America has revealed a smoke-black cloud in deep space hiding a bustling nursery of baby stars. The new image, captured by a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, is the best view ever of the dark space cloud Lupus 3. The cosmic cloud is about 600 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpious (The Scorpion). The observatory released a wide-view and video tour of the Lupus 3 space cloud and a dazzling bright star cluster in addition to the close-up photo. As the denser regions of the cloud contract under their own gravity and heat up, they blaze up into newborn stars whose light is initially blocked by the surrounding gas. ESO officials said the Lupus 3 space cloud is likely similar to the star nursery that gave birth to Earth's sun more than 4 billion years ago.

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