Painted tunicate colony (Clavelina picta). A tunicate is a sessile marine animal that feeds by circulating water through its tubular sac-like body. Painted tunicates live in clusters ranging from a few individuals to as many as 1000, each measuring approximately 15mm across.
Photo credit: © Javier Sandoval
That is NCG 6357, also sometimes called the Lobster Nebula. It’s a massive star-forming cloud around 8000 light years away, located in the constellation of Scorpius. The picture was taken by the amazing VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy), located in Paranal, Chile.