2020 February 8
Cosmic Clouds in the Unicorn
Image Credit & Copyright: Bray Falls
Explanation: Interstellar clouds of hydrogen gas and dust abound in this gorgeous skyscape. The 3 degree wide field of view stretches through the faint but fanciful constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. A star forming region cataloged as NGC 2264 is centered, a complex jumble of cosmic gas, dust and stars about 2,700 light-years distant. It mixes reddish emission nebulae excited by energetic light from newborn stars with dark dust clouds. Where the otherwise obscuring dust clouds lie close to hot, young stars they also reflect starlight, forming blue reflection nebulae. A few light-years across, a simple sculpted shape known as the Cone Nebula is near center. Outlined by the red glow of hydrogen gas, the cone points toward the left and bright, blue-white S Monocerotis. Itself a multiple system of massive, hot stars S Mon is adjacent to bluish reflection nebulae and the convoluted Fox Fur nebula. Expansive dark markings on the sky are silhouetted by a larger region of fainter emission with yellowish open star cluster Trumpler 5 near the top of the frame. The curious compact cometary shape right of center is known as Hubble’s Variable Nebula.
影像提供与版权 : Bray Falls
说明: 在这片以昏暗麒麟座为中心，跨幅3度的美丽的星野里，到处都是散布在恒星之间的氢气和尘埃云。影像中心处的天体，是距离约2,700光年远，由宇宙云气、尘埃和恒星堆砌而成的，编录号为NGC 2264的恒星形成区。在它的内部，交杂着受新恒星高能星光激发的泛红发射星云和黝黑的星际尘埃云。当这些不透光的尘埃云位在炽热年轻恒星附近时，它们会反射星光，成为泛蓝的反射星云。在影像的中心附近，还有宽约数光年、形状简单的锥状星云。边缘镶着散发泛红氢气辉光的尖锥，指向左侧明亮蓝白色的麒麟座S星。在身为大质量多星系统成员的炽热麒麟座S星附近，座落着泛蓝的反射星云和形似皮毛的狐皮星云。在影像的上缘附近，有在泛黄疏散星团川普勒5的弥漫暗淡星光衬托下，以剪影之姿现踪的多个大型暗星云。此外，在影像上缘中右方附近的致密彗星状天体，名为哈伯变光星云。