The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning view of the Prawn Nebula floating through deep space.
The Prawn Nebula, formally known as IC 4628, is an emission nebula located 6,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Scorpius. Nebulas, or clouds of interstellar gas and dust, form following massive stellar explosions; in turn, this interstellar material gives life to new stars.
Stretching over 250 light-years wide, IC 4628 is believed to be a massive stellar nursery, where new stars are forming. Scientists classify it as an emission nebula because its gas has been energized, or ionized, by the radiation of nearby stars. That process produces electrons that re-emit the absorbed energy in the form of infrared light, according to a statement from NASA.