Nebula Messier 78 (NGC 2068) in Orion by APEX

The beautiful image of dust, is from of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78 (NGC 2068), just to the north of Orion’s Belt. When viewed by Submillimetre-wavelength APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) telescope, observations are overlaid on the visible-light image in orange.   Credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)

In visible light, this dust is dark and obscuring. One filament seen by APEX appears in visible light as a dark lane of dust cutting across Messier 78. This tells us that the dense dust lies in front of the reflection nebula, blocking its bluish light.

The faint heat glow of dense cold clumps of cosmic dust, are even colder than -250ºC.

Credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2

Nebula Messier 78 (NGC 2068) in Orion

Orion star map

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