This broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents
a bird-like visage to astronomers
from planet Earth,
suggesting its popular moniker -
The Seagull Nebula.
of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath
across the plane of the Milky Way,
the direction of Sirius, alpha
star of the constellation Canis Major.
Of course, the region includes objects with other
a compact, dusty emission region
with an embedded massive star that forms the bird's head
(aka the Parrot Nebula, above center).
forms the sweeping arc of the seagull's wings.
Dominated by the
reddish glow of atomic hydrogen,
the complex of gas and dust clouds with bright
young stars spans over 100 light-years at an estimated
3,800 light-year distance.