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NASA photo of the day: the cosmic "Seagull" by an Italian astrophotographer

The extraordinary image of the nebula that extends for 100 light years at 3800 light years from Earth created by Gianni Lacroce


The cloud of incandescent gas and dust visible in the sky on the border between the constellations of Canis Major and Unicorn on the edge of the Milky Way extends for about 100 light years at a distance of 3800 light years from our planet and is due to its shape which is known as the Seagull Nebula.

Created by Gianni Lacroce, a 48-year-old Roman of Calabrian origins passionate about astrophotography, this sulphurous image of a "firebird" hovering in deep space was chosen as NASA's astronomical image of the day.

The reddish glow of atomic hydrogen indicates a region of the cosmos where young stars still forming shine, perhaps the result of a supernova explosion.

Of particular effect is the "head" of the seagull with a particularly bright star located right next to the eye.