Image Credit: ESO
N 164 is a bright emission nebula and star-forming cloud, located within the Large Magellanic Cloud – an irregular satellite galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy, about 157,000 light-years away in the constellation of Dorado.
New hot stars inside the nebula are forming out of interstellar gas and dust, and they are causing the nebula to glow. The heating of the gas by these stars increases the pressure, and this causes the nebula to expand, pushing outwards against their surroundings. When you look carefully at N 164, the nebula reveals locations where the expansion is encountering resistance by denser clouds of gas, producing bright, thin rims.