“I moved here from Jamaica when I was six, and my accent was so bad that I had to spend two years in ESL classes before anyone could understand me. I remember feeling very frustrated. I was surrounded by people with really thick accents who were trying to tell me that I needed to get rid of my accent.”
This flower-shaped nebula, also known by the less romantic name NGC 2237, is a huge star-forming cloud of dust and gas in our Milky Way galaxy. Estimates of the nebula’s distance vary from 4,500 to 5,000 light-years away.
At the center of the flower is a cluster of young stars called NGC 2244. The most massive stars produce huge amounts of ultraviolet radiation, and blow strong winds that erode away the nearby gas and dust, creating a large, central hole. The radiation also strips electrons from the surrounding hydrogen gas, ionizing it and creating what astronomers call an HII region.