In this beautiful
celestial still life
composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula
NGC 2170 shines at the upper left.
Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170
by other bluish reflection nebulae,
a compact red emission region,
and streamers of obscuring dust against a backdrop of stars.
Like the common household items
still life painters
often choose for their subjects, the clouds of gas, dust, and hot stars
pictured here are also commonly found in this setting -
a massive, star-forming molecular cloud
in the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros).
cloud, Mon R2, is impressively close,
to be only 2,400 light-years or so away.
At that distance, this canvas would be about 15 light-years across.
Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter,