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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Posted By Editor On November 19, 2011 @ 3:50 pm In Photo Essays | Comments Disabled

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.
vdb152 lodriguss 1200 670x446 Astronomy Picture of the Day [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.


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/vdb152_lodriguss_1200.jpg

[2] Catching the Light: http://www.astropix.com/INDEX.HTM

[3] dark nebula: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090425.html

[4] Wolf’s Cave: http://www.pbase.com/image/101593833

[5] royal constellation: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/mythology/cepheus.html

[6] the nebula: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflection_nebula

[7] color: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap051229.html

[8] thought: http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/abs/1985ApJ...294..225W

[9] luminescence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoluminescence

[10] molecular clouds: http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/cosmic_reference/molecular_clouds.html

[11] deep telescopic image: http://www.astropix.com/HTML/SHOW_DIG/VdB152.HTM

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