The Very Large Telescope has spotted Orion’s bat signal, the Cosmic Bat. VLT photographed the shadowy nebula as part of the European Southern Observatory’s Cosmic Gems program.

The Cosmic Bat — formally, NGC 1788 — is a dusty nebula found in the Orion constellation. It is too dim to be spotted with the naked eye, but VLT is powerful enough to offer a detailed view.

The nebula doesn’t emit much light, but its clouds of gas and dust reflect a collection of young stars within its core. The nebula’s own stellar population isn’t substantial, which is why its bat-like wings of gas and dust are unusual.

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