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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.
[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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