Astronomy Picture of the Day

Stardust in Perseus

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Stardust in Perseus


This cosmic expanse of dust, gas, and stars covers some 4 degrees
on the sky in the heroic constellation

Centered in the
gorgeous skyscape
is the dusty blue reflection nebula
NGC 1333,
about 1,000 light-years away.

At that estimated distance, the field
of view is nearly 70 light-years across.

Other reflection nebulae are scattered around,
along with remarkable
dark dust nebulae and
the faint reddish glow of hydrogen gas.

These dust and gas clouds lie near the edge of a large

Themselves telltale signs of star-forming regions, they
tend to hide
the newly formed stars and young stellar objects or protostars from
prying optical telescopes.

Collapsing due to
self-gravity, the
around dense cores embedded in the molecular cloud.

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