Astronomy Picture of the Day

In the Center of Reflection Nebula NGC 1333

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#100745 by @ 22.05.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
In the Center of Reflection Nebula NGC 1333

The dust is so thick in the center of NGC 1333 that you can hardly see the stars forming.

Conversely, the very
dust clouds that hide the stars also reflects their
optical light,
giving NGC 1333's predominantly blue glow the general designation of a
reflection nebula.

A highly detailed image of the nebula,
shown above,
was taken recently by the
Mayall 4-meter telescope
on Kitt Peak in
and released to honor astronomer
Stephen Strom
on his retirement.

Visible near the image top are vast
blue regions of dust
predominantly reflecting the light from
bright massive stars.

Visible in the thick central dust are not only newly formed stars but
red jets and red-glowing gas energized by the light and
winds from recently formed young stars.

The NGC 1333
nebula contains hundreds
of newly formed stars that are less than one million years old.

Reflection nebula
NGC 1333 lies about 1,000
light years away toward the
constellation of Perseus.

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