How could two young stars energize these clouds of interstellar gas? Hidden behind these thick clouds of dust, the two stars emit high-energy ions and radiation, which make the clouds fragment and glow.
The image, taken by the Melipal unit of the VLT telescope, of the European Southern Observatory, solves in splendid detail the BAT99-49 complex of this nebula. The light emitted by the helium atoms is recorded in blues, that of oxygen in greens and that of hydrogen in reds.
One of the stars of this duo is the enigmatic Wolf-Rayet type, while the other is a massive O star. This stellar couple and their nebula are found in the Great Magellanic Cloud, the largest of the satellite galaxies of our Milky Way.
The Wolf-Rayet stars constitute one of the hottest objects in the universe, while the O are the most energetic and massive of the main sequence of stellar evolution.
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