Reflection Nebula in Perseus
February 21, 2010
The image above shows NGC 1333, a captivating reflection nebula in the constellation of Perseus. With this type of nebulae, nearby stars aren’t sufficiently hot to ionize gas but are bright enough to make the dust within the nebula visible. Because shorter (blue) wavelengths are more readily scattered by dust particles than are longer (red) wavelengths, reflection nebula often have a bluish hue. NGC 1333 is part of the OB2 Perseus molecular cloud complex. As you can see, the entire region is full of dark dust clouds that give a very eerie look to the image. Nearby this nebula are star forming regions containing young stellar objects.
Photo details: Image taken with the 11" Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain and Hyperstar lens [f#2]; total exposure time of 9 hours; image acquired at the New Forest Observatory in Hampshire, U.K; processed by Noel Carboni in Florida, U.S.A.