Young suns still lie
within dusty NGC 7129, some
3,000 light-years away toward the royal
While these stars
are at a relatively tender age, only a few million years old, it is
likely that our own Sun formed in a similar stellar nursery some
five billion years ago.
Most noticeable in
the sharp image are the
lovely bluish dust clouds
that reflect the youthful starlight.
But the compact, deep red crescent shapes are also markers
of energetic, young stellar objects.
objects, their shape and color is
characteristic of glowing hydrogen gas
jets streaming away from newborn stars.
Paler, extended filaments of
mingling with the bluish
clouds are caused by dust grains effectively converting the
invisible ultraviolet starlight to visible red light through
Ultimately the natal gas and dust in the region
will be dispersed, the
drifting apart as the loose
cluster orbits the center of the Galaxy.
At the estimated distance of
NGC 7129, this telescopic view spans
about 40 light-years.