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As it turns 15, the ESO's Very Large Telescope captures another interstellar stunner

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Very Large Telescope birthday
Very Large Telescope birthday

The Very Large Telescope is about to turn 15, and to celebrate the European Southern Observatory has released a spectacular image of a radiant pink gas cloud. Naturally the shot you see above — showcasing just one nursery (IC 2944, according to where stars are born in spectacular fashion — was captured by the VLT. The telescope's massive optical power makes it feel as if you're right there, but in reality this cloud lies some 6500 light-years away. Researchers turned on the Very Large Telescope in May of 1998, and since then it's proven to be an indispensable tool cited in countless scientific papers and studies. And as you can clearly see, it's still producing wondrous results.