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# 8.0: Prelude to Atomic Structure

Figure $$\PageIndex{1}$$: NGC1763 is an emission nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way Galaxy. The colors we see can be explained by applying the ideas of quantum mechanics to atomic structure. (credit: NASA, ESA, and Josh Lake)
Figure $$\PageIndex{1}$$ is NGC1763, an emission nebula in the small galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is a satellite of the Milky Way Galaxy. Ultraviolet light from hot stars ionizes the hydrogen atoms in the nebula. As protons and electrons recombine, radiation of different frequencies is emitted. The details of this process can be correctly predicted by quantum mechanics and are examined in this chapter.