This lovely blue cosmic cloud begins the van den Bergh Catalog (vdB) of stars surrounded by reflection nebulae.
Interstellar dust clouds reflecting the light of the nearby stars, the nebulae usually appear blue because… Continue reading
One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late… Continue reading
Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium.
Gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense… Continue reading
A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying.
Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical… Continue reading
Giant elliptical galaxy M60 and spiral galaxy NGC 4647 do look like an odd couple in this sharp cosmic portrait from the Hubble Space Telescope.
But they are found in a region of space… Continue reading
Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city.
Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and… Continue reading
Why is the sky near Antares and Rho Ophiuchi so colorful? …
Fine dust illuminated from the front by starlight produces blue reflection nebulae. Gaseous clouds whose atoms are excited by ultraviolet… Continue reading