“This wide-field view of the Orion Nebula (Messier 42), lying about 1350 light-years from Earth, was taken with the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.The new telescope’s huge field of view allows the whole nebula and its surroundings to be imaged in a single picture and its infrared vision also means that it can peer deep into the normally hidden dusty regions and reveal the curious antics of the very active young stars buried there.”
A massive star is illuminating this small region, called M43, and sculpting the landscape of dust and gas. Astronomers call the area a miniature Orion Nebula because of its small size and the single star that is shaping it. The Orion Nebula itself is much larger and has four hefty stars that are carving the dust-and-gas terrain.
Loch An Eilein (and a duck) by alancowper Via Flickr: I waited for a good 30 minutes while this duck meandered casually from one side of the frame to the other, never once leaving the shot. Eventually I conceded defeat.
I had always assumed the impossibly picturesque castle on the loch was a folly - a modern ornament purposefully built to look like an ancient ruin however a bit of googling tells me there has been a castle on this site since the 12th century, although the ruin you can see here dates from a later period.