|Bright stars, clouds of dust and glowing nebulae
this cosmic scene, a skyscape just north of
Close to the plane of our
Milky Way Galaxy,
the wide field view spans about 5.5 degrees.
a reflection nebula, is at the left.
M78's tint is due to dust preferentially reflecting the
blue light of hot, young stars.
In colorful contrast, the red sash of glowing hydrogen gas
sweeping through the center is part of the region's faint but
extensive emission nebula
known as Barnard's Loop.
At right, a dark dust cloud forms a prominent silhouette
cataloged as LDN 1622.
While M78 and the complex Barnard's Loop are some 1,500 light-years
away, LDN 1622 is likely to be much closer, only about 500
light-years distant from our fair planet Earth.