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Astronomy Picture of the Day

The cosmic apparitions are nearly 1,400 light-years away along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving the the nebulaits characteristic blue color.
[1]
In Wolf’s Cave 
Image Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light [2])

Explanation: The mysterious blue reflection nebula found in catalogs as VdB 152 or Ced 201 really is very faint. It lies at the tip of the long dark nebula [3] Barnard 175 in a dusty complex that has also been called Wolf’s Cave [4]. The cosmic apparitions are nearly 1,400 light-years away along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation [5] Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving the the nebula [6]its characteristic blue color [7]. Ultraviolet light from the star is also thought [8] to cause a dim reddish luminescence [9] in the nebular dust. Though stars do form in molecular clouds [10], this star seems to have only accidentally wandered into the area, as its measured velocity through space is very different from the cloud’s velocity. This deep telescopic image [11] of the region spans about 7 light-years.