Lagoon Nebula - This cloud of interstellar gas and dust lies at distance of 5,000 light years from our solar system and spans a respectable 70 light years. We see this nebula because of the light of stars nearby, which reflects off the gases in this large cloud. Much in the same way that our own sun formed, new stars form from gas in this cloud as it pulls together and condenses under the force of gravity. Indeed, a prominent cluster of young stars has already formed in this nebula and can be seen in the left-center of this photo.

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