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January 12, 2005

Life Begins

JAMA. 2005;293(2):162-163. doi:10.1001/jama.293.2.162-c

To the Editor: I was fascinated by Lorser Feitelson’s painting Life Begins on the cover of the September 1, 2004, issue of JAMA.1 What is shown in the upper right panel is part of the deep-sky object known as the Veil Nebula in the constellation Cygnus. Dr Southgate refers to this image as suggesting “ . . . anything from an exploding star to a swimming sperm.”1 This description is supremely felicitous, as the Veil Nebula is, in fact, the tattered remnants of a supernova—an exploding star.

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