The bright star V565 (center of the image) highlights a silvery, fan-shaped veil of gas and dust, while the right half of this image is obscured by a dense cloud of dust. Nebulae with similar shapes were once called “cometary nebulae” because the star with an accompanying bright fan looked like a comet with a bright tail.
The language that astronomers use changes as we become better acquainted with the universe, and astronomical history is littered with now-obsolete phrases to describe objects in the night sky, such as “spiral nebulae” for spiral galaxies.
Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble, R. Sahai