Astronomy Picture of the Day

Reflections on the 1970s

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Reflections on the 1970s


1970s are
sometimes ignored by astronomers.

In particular, this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae
in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - are
usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the
nearby stellar nursery better known as the
Orion Nebula.

Found along Orion's sword just north
of the
bright Orion Nebula
complex, these reflection nebulae are
also associated with
giant molecular cloud about
1,500 light-years away, but
are dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar
dust reflecting
light from hot young stars.

North is down in
this sharp color telescopic image
from New South Wales,
so the more familiar Orion Nebula borders the top
of the view.

NGC 1977 stretches across the field just above center,
separated from NGC 1973 (below left) and NGC 1975 (below right)
by darker regions of obscuring dust.

Many northern hemisphere observers claim to see the general shape of
a running man
in the cosmic dust cloud but, of course, they're looking at the view
upside down.

APOD presents: href="">Astronomy Pictures of the Year for 2007

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