This dwarf galaxy contains both cradles and the graves of stars

An Astronomer’s menagerie.

Using the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, astronomers captured the image of dwarf galaxy Sextans B. Located around 4.5 million light-years from Earth, the universe contains the collection of astronomical objects such as bright stars, cradles and the graves of stars.

The galaxy has a mass of around 200 million times the mass of the Sun. It also contains ruby-red clouds of atomic hydrogen that give birth to brilliant new stars.

Sextans B is also known to have several planetary nebulae.

The image shows both very distant objects and stars much closer to home. Faraway galaxies can be seen littering the background of this image, noticeable by their fuzzy appearance or irregular shapes. Several of the bright nearby stars are surrounded by conspicuous diffraction spikes — the prominent crisscross patterns created by light interacting with the structure of a telescope.

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