Astronomy Picture of the Day



M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds in Orion

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#106144 by @ 19.03.2008 00:00 - nach oben -
M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds in Orion


Explanation:
An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright
reflection nebula
in the constellation of Orion.

The dark filamentary
dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the
light of several bright blue stars that
formed recently in the nebula.

Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, on the upper right, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left.

The same type of scattering that colors the
daytime sky further enhances the blue color.

M78
is about five
light-years across and visible through a small telescope.

M78 appears
above
only as it was 1600 years ago, however, because that is how long it takes light to go from
there to here.


M78
belongs to the larger
Orion Molecular Cloud Complex
that contains the
Great Nebula in Orion and the
Horsehead Nebula.



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