Cosmic clouds of hydrogen gas and dust abound in
the neighborhood of
A dark, obscuring dust cloud, the simple, sculpted
the Cone Nebula is near the lower left edge.
Surrounded by the red glow of hydrogen gas, the cone
points up, toward bright, blue-white S Monocerotis, a quadruple
system of very massive, hot stars.
S Mon itself is also surrounded by
intriguing red emission nebulae
characteristic of star forming regions while
above and to the right of S Mon,
expansive dark markings on the sky
are silhouetted by a larger region of fainter
Yellowish open star cluster
is below picture center, with
the striking blue
reflection nebula, IC 2169
near the center right edge.
The curious compact cometary shape near the bottom edge is
Hubble's Variable Nebula.
Over 31 hours of exposure time went into this truly remarkable,
2.5 degree wide, color mosaic.