Observatory releases one of the largest photos they've ever taken of space

Clocking in at 49,511 x 39,136 pixels, you may have to wait a while for this newly released image of space to load from the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

There it is.

In all its glory. That image is ... vast. In fact, there are 2 billion pixels in this picture of the Cat's Paw (upper right) and Lobster Nebula (lower left) -- two nebulae that exist within our galaxy.

Astronomers often give nebulae playful names based on what they resemble - like "Cat's eye" and "Lemon slice."

Both objects are located over 5,000 light years away from the earth. They were first discovered in 1837 by famed British astronomer John Herschel. Due to dated technology, Herschel was unable to take clearer images of the nebulae. Astronomers didn't have snap a shots this clear until they obtained a 256-megapixel camera.

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In the brighter areas of the nebulae are gaseous regions that are energized by newborn stars reported to be almost 10 times larger than that of our sun. And the tendrils of gas weaving throughout the nebulae come from the ultraviolet light that ionizes hydrogen atoms.

A zoomable version of the image is also available here.

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