Astronomy Picture of the Day

vdB 152: Reflection Nebula in Cepheus

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vdB 152: Reflection Nebula in Cepheus


Described as a "dusty curtain" or "ghostly apparition",
mysterious reflection nebula
vdB 152 really is very

It lies about 1400 light-years away, along the northern Milky Way
in the royal constellation Cepheus.

Near the edge of a large molecular cloud,
pockets of cosmic dust in the region block light from background stars
or scatter light from the embedded bright star (top)
giving parts of
the nebula
a characteristic blue color.

Ultraviolet light from the star is also
to cause a dim reddish
in the nebular dust.

Though stars do form in
molecular clouds, this star
seems to have only accidentally wandered
into the area, as its measured velocity through
interstellar space is very different from
the cloud's velocity.

This deep telescopic image spans about 7 light-years at the
estimated distance
of vdB 152.

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