This nebula was given the name War and Peace Nebula by the Midcourse Space Experiment scientists because of its appearance. They said that in infrared images the bright, western part resembles a dove, while the eastern part looks like a skull.
Shiver me timbers, behold the Skull and Crossbones Nebula! Also know as NGC 2467, Skull and Crossbones is an emission nebula located some 13,000 – 17,000 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation of Puppis It is an extremely active stellar nursery, where new stars are born continuously from large clouds of dust and gas. The image displays a striking array of features that illustrate multiple phases of star birth. Huge clouds of gas and dust are sprinkled with bright blue, hot young stars.
The bright star at the center of the largest pink region on the bottom of the image is HD 64315, a massive young star that is helping shaping the structure of the whole nebular region. Toward the center, deep dark lanes of dust hide parts of the nebula that are forming new stars.