<p>Seen through binoculars or small telescopes, the Lagoon nebula is a ghostly blur tinged with pink tucked inside the constellation Sagittarius. But with the powerful gaze of the <a href="http://www.gemini.edu/">Gemini South telescope</a> in Chile, astronomers have created a dramatic new view of this stellar nursery.</p><p>Released this week, the false-color picture shows the nebula in vibrant hues thanks to a combination of data from several light filters. The dense cloud of dust and gas is a birthplace for medium- and low-mass stars, most of which are embedded in thick cocoons of material. The bluish points of light in the frame are young stars in the background.</p>

Swirling Lagoon

Seen through binoculars or small telescopes, the Lagoon nebula is a ghostly blur tinged with pink tucked inside the constellation Sagittarius. But with the powerful gaze of the Gemini South telescope in Chile, astronomers have created a dramatic new view of this stellar nursery.

Released this week, the false-color picture shows the nebula in vibrant hues thanks to a combination of data from several light filters. The dense cloud of dust and gas is a birthplace for medium- and low-mass stars, most of which are embedded in thick cocoons of material. The bluish points of light in the frame are young stars in the background.

Image courtesy Universidad de La Serena and ICATE-CONICET

Space Pictures This Week: Vibrant Lagoon, Mock Mars

A nebula swirls with color, a Mars mission gets a trial run, satellites see a Russian eruption, and more in the week's best space pictures.

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