The Monkey Head Nebula is a star-forming region located 6,400 lightyears away in the Orion constellation.
NGC 2174, to give it is formal name, is a place where new stars are being born at a fierce and rapid rate, and these newly born stars emit powerful streams of charged particles known as stellar winds that blow the gas and dust away, removing the ingredients necessary for future stars to be born.
Dark dust streams among the glowing cosmic cloud to give the nebula its ape-like appearance. Indeed, it is one of many nebulae that look like animals.
The Monkey Head Nebula is an emission nebula, which means it is a cloud of gas that emits its own light. This is as opposed to a reflection nebula in which hot stars cause surrounding gas to glow.
It is associated with open star cluster NGC 2175 and can be found in the can be found in the Orion constellation.
Below is a selection of images of the Monkey Head Nebula captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers from around the world.