Open star cluster NGC 7380 is still embedded in its natal cloud of interstellar gas and dust popularly known as the Wizard Nebula. Seen with foreground and background stars along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy it lies some 8,000 light-years distant, toward the constellation Cepheus.
The hunt for alien life has been given a boost after scientists discovered a habitable planet almost the same size as Earth.
Astronomer Thomas Barclay from Nasa's Ames Research Centre in California made the discovery using data collected by the Kepler space telescope.
The unnamed planet was found orbiting an unidentified star in its so-called Goldilocks zone - a region around the star that emits just enough energy, light and temperature for liquid surface water to appear.