dust clouds and glowing nebulae abound in the fertile
constellation of Orion.
One of the
M78, is centered in this colorful,
wide field view, covering an area
north of Orion's belt.
At a distance of about 1,500 light-years, the
bluish reflection nebula is
around 5 light-years across.
Its tint is due to dust
reflecting the blue light
of hot, young stars.
Reflection nebula NGC 2071 is just to the left of M78.
To the right of M78 and much more compact in appearance,
the intriguing McNeil's Nebula is a recently
recognized variable nebula
the formation of a sun-like star.
The remarkably deep exposure also brings out the region's faint but
pervasive reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas.
Copyright: Thomas V. Davis