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The Eagle Nebula from Kitt Peak (Apr 16 2012) Image Credit: T. A. Rector & B. A. Wolpa, NOAO, AURA From afar, the whole thing looks like an Eagle. A closer look at the Eagle Nebula, however, shows the bright region is actually a window into the center of a larger dark shell of dust. Through this window, a brightly-lit workshop appears where a whole open cluster of stars is being formed. In this cavity tall pillars and round globules of dark dust and cold molecular gas remain (...) #astronomy
From California to the Pleiades - On the left, the California Nebula (NGC 1499) has a familiar shape, but a coastline of 60 light-years long and lies about 1,500 light-years away. At the far right, the Pleiades star cluster is some 400 light-years distant and around 15 light-years across. In between are hot stars of the Perseus OB2 association and dusty, dark nebulae along the edge of the nearby, massive Perseus molecular cloud. (credit & copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors))
A star forming region cataloged as NGC 2264, the complex jumble of cosmic gas and dust is about 2,700 light-years distant and mixes reddish emission nebulae excited by energetic light from newborn stars with dark interstellar dust clouds. Where the otherwise obscuring dust clouds lie close to the hot, young stars they also reflect starlight, forming blue reflection nebulae.