August 2016: Picture of the Month
Our Sun is most likely formed some five billion years ago in a similar stellar nursery such as NGC7129, located some 3000 light-years away toward the constellation Cepheus. Noticeable in the image are the lovely bluish clouds that reflect the youthful starlight. The compact, deep red crescent shapes mark energetic, young stellar objects. Known as the Herbig-Haro objects, the shape and color of these objects are the characteristic of glowing hydrogen gas streaming away from newborn stars. The paler, reddish filaments are caused by the process of photoluminescence, where dust grains convert invisible ultraviolet starlight to visible red light.
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