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Astronomy Picture of the Day

The cosmic brush of star formation composed this alluring mix of dust and dark nebulae. Cataloged as Sh2-239 and LDN 1551, the region lies near the southern end of the Taurus molecular cloud complex some 450 light-years distant. Stretching for nearly 3 light-years, the canvas abounds with signs of embedded young stellar objects driving dynamic outflows into the surrounding medium
[1]
Sh2-239: Celestial Impasto 
Image Credit & Copyright [2]Adam Block [3]Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter [4]University of Arizona [5]

Explanation: The cosmic brush [6] of star formation composed this alluring mix [7] of dust and dark nebulae. Cataloged as Sh2-239 and LDN 1551, the region [8] lies near the southern end of the Taurus molecular cloud [9] complex some 450 light-years distant. Stretching for nearly 3 light-years, the canvas abounds with signs of embedded young stellar objects driving dynamic outflows into the surrounding medium. Included near the center of the frame, a compact, tell-tale red jet of shocked hydrogen gas is near the position of infrared source IRS5, known to be a system of protostars surrounded [10] by dust disks. Just below it are the broader, brighter wings of HH 102, one of the region’s [11] many Herbig-Haro objects, nebulosities associated with newly born stars [12]. Estimates indicate that the star forming LDN 1551 region [13] contains a total amount of material equivalent to about 50 times the mass of the Sun.