Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas
have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile
star fields of the constellation Cepheus.
Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully
this is not the only nebula in the
sky to evoke the imagery of flowers.
digital image shows off the Iris Nebula's range of
colors and symmetries in impressive detail.
Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot,
The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue,
of dust grains reflecting starlight.
filaments of the dusty clouds glow with a faint reddish
photoluminesence as some dust grains
convert the star's invisible
radiation to visible red light.
indicate that this nebula may contain
complex carbon molecules known as
As shown here, the bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula is about six
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