South of Antares, in the tail of the nebula-rich constellation Scorpius, lies emission nebula IC 4628, also cataloged as Gum 56 or the Prawn Nebula. Nearby hot, massive stars, millions of years young, radiate the nebula with invisible ultraviolet light, stripping electrons from atoms. The electrons eventually recombine with the atoms to produce the visible nebular glow, dominated by the red emission of hydrogen.
Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis (Sept 27 2012) Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Lorenzi (Glittering Lights) Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds sprawl across a rich field of stars in this sweeping telescopic vista near the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking light from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way, the densest part of the dust cloud is about 8 light-years long. #astronomy
In the Glare of Alpha Centauri - A mere 4.3 light-years distant, Alpha Centauri actually consists of two component stars similar in size to the Sun, locked in a mutual orbit. Much smaller and cooler, a third member of the same star system, Proxima Centauri, lies outside this field of view. (credit & copyright: Marco Lorenzi (Glittering Lights))