Astronomers have reported their best observation yet of a massive star embryo growing within a dark cloud - the largest stellar "womb" ever spotted in the Milky Way galaxy.
The star could grow to 100 times the mass of our Sun and up to a million times brighter.
It was spotted by the Alma international astronomy centre located in Chile, the most powerful radio telescope on Earth.
This specific star is located in the Spitzer Dark Cloud, whose core has a mass about 500 times that of the Sun.
Astronomers hope its discovery, at a distance of some 11000 light years from Earth, will shed light on how these exceptionally massive stars are formed.