Drifting through the one-horned constellation
these dusty streamers
and new born stars
are part of the active Monoceros R2 star-forming region, embedded
in a giant molecular cloud.
The cosmic scene was recorded by the
Visible light images show
dusty NGC 2170, seen here
just right of center, as a complex of bluish reflection nebulae.
But this penetrating
view reveals telltale
signs of ongoing star formation and massive young stars otherwise
hidden by the dust.
Energetic winds and radiation from the hot young stars
reshape the natal interstellar clouds.
Close on the sky to the star-forming Orion
Nebula, the Monoceros R2 region is almost twice as far away,
about 2700 light-years distant.
At that distance, this vista spans about 80 light-years.
Astronomical Survey Unit