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BIRTH OF THE STARS, Photos of the Universe

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The Spider and the Fly - IC 417NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope floats ~93 million miles from earth as it silently observes our universe. In this image we see the nebula IC 417, located in the constellation Auriga, about 10,000 light-years away. Star...

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"There are so many chances, so many worlds, pouring down on us. Like most people I take no notice and let them flow away, aeons breaking back into the universes where they were made. We are universes dripping with worlds. All we have to do is choose. " - Jeanette Winterson. Photo: Newly discovered galaxy, SMM J2135-0102

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A perfect 10 for the Hubble Space Telescope! This once-in-a-lifetime image shows a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. The galaxy on the left, or the "one", is relatively undisturbed, whereas the galaxy on the right, or the "zero", is a messy ring of intense star formation. Image credit: NASA, ESA and M. Livio (STScI)

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A Hubble Space Telescope image of the R136 super star cluster, near the center of the 30 Doradus Nebula, also known as the Tarantula Nebula or NGC 2070.

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The Mountains of Creation nebula (W5) from the Spitzer space telescope. The image, dubbed the Mountains of Creation by astronomers, reveals hotbeds of star formation similar to the iconic Pillars of Creation within the Eagle Nebula, photographed in 1995 by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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New Hubble view of the Lagoon Nebula. Image credit: NASA, ESA, J. Trauger (Jet Propulson Laboratory)

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Magellanic Cloud Survey view of the Tarantula Nebula | The leader of the survey team, Maria-Rosa Cioni (University of Hertfordshire, UK) explains: "This view is of one of the most important regions of star formation in the local Universe, the spectacular 30 Doradus star-forming region, also called the Tarantula Nebula. At its core is a large cluster of stars called RMC 136, in which some of the most massive stars known are located."

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Infrared view of the Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) taken by VISTA. NGC 6334 is a vast region of star formation about 5500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius. The whole gas cloud is about 50 light-years across. NGC 6334 is one of the most active nurseries of young massive stars in our galaxy. - Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA

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