Cosmic dust clouds in Messier 78

Image credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2

This image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78, just to the north of Orion’s belt, shows clouds of cosmic dust threaded through the nebula like a string of pearls. The submillimetre-wavelength observations, made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope and shown here in orange, use the heat glow of interstellar dust grains to show astronomers where new stars are being formed. They are overlaid on a view of the region in visible light.

http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1219a/

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2 Responses to “Cosmic dust clouds in Messier 78”

  1. […] the nebula Messier 78 is shown in a three-color composite from three telescopes: in green is the 160-micron, far-infrared […]

  2. […] M42 and M43, shown in the main image. The complex contains many other well-known objects including M78 and the famous Becklin-Neugebauer object, a protostar and one of the first finds of infrared […]

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