Clouds of Perseus ~ contains over 10,000 solar masses of gas and dust, but the eye is drawn to red NGC 1499. Known as the California Nebula, its characteristic glow of atomic hydrogen gas is fueled by ultraviolet light from luminous blue star Xi Persei. Farther along, intriguing young star cluster IC 348 and neighboring Flying Ghost Nebula. On the outskirts of a giant molecular cloud, another active star forming region, NGC 1333, lies near the edge of the wide field of view.
A real shooting star! Mira (MY-rah) is a star that scientists have studied for 400 years. But NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer telescope captured a very surprising image of Mira. It showed for the first time that Mira has a long tail of dust and gas—13 light-years long! That is 20,000 times longer than the average distance from the Sun to Pluto!