NGC 6520

5380 light-years

About 190 million years ago, a dust cloud coalesced and began the process of star birth. Today, NGC 6520 is ablaze with hot, massive young stars arranged in a dandelion seed-shaped cluster. Not far away lie the gecko-shaped remains of what may be their birth cloud, Barnard 86. Both are set against a glittering gold-toned backdrop of stars that are far more distant and populate parts of the inner regions and bulge of our Galaxy.

Credit: Gemini Observatory.