Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars, which in turn, these light up the gas clouds in a riot of colours, visible in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
LHA 120-N 11 (known as N11 for short) is a particularly bright region of the LMC, consisting of several adjacent pockets of gas and star formation. NGC 1769 (in the center of this image) and NGC 1763 (to the right) are among the brightest parts. In the center of this image, a dark finger of dust blots out much of the light. While nebulae are mostly made of hydrogen, the simplest and most plentiful element in the Universe, dust clouds are home to heavier and more complex elements, which go on to form rocky planets like the Earth.
Much finer than household dust (it is more like smoke), this interstellar dust consists of material expelled from previous generations of stars as they died. This wide field view of part of the Large Magellanic Cloud includes the location of the N11 star formation region.
The Daily Galaxy viaESA/Hubble Information Centre