|An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of
dark dust highlight M78 and other bright
in the constellation of Orion.
The dark filamentary
dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the
light of several bright blue stars that
formed recently in the nebula.
Of the two reflection nebulas
pictured above, the more famous nebula is
M78, in the image center, while
NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left.
The same type of scattering that colors the
daytime sky further enhances the blue color.
is about five
light-years across and visible through a small telescope.
M78 appears above only as it was
1600 years ago,
however, because that is how long it takes light to go from
there to here.
belongs to the larger
that contains the
Great Nebula in Orion and the
Ignacio de la Cueva Torregrosa