Taurus Molecular Cloud Region and Stellar Nursery

February 07, 2017

Taurus_Dust_Clouds_EPOD (2)

Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Author: Greg Parker

The dusty appearing area on the image above, part of the massive Taurus Molecular Cloud region is full of dark nebulosity. This region, lying some 430 light-years away (in the constellation of Taurus the Bull), is the closest, large stellar nursery to us. Thought to be composed mostly of molecular hydrogen, it effectively blots out the light of many of the background stars. A few of the bright stars that can be recognized include, at center, 59-Chi Tauri and at top center, van den Bergh 27 (vdB 27) -- the bright two-winged structure. Photo taken from the New Forest Observatory in southern England on January 5, 2017.

Photo Details: This 4.5 x 6.4 degree image was captured using a pair of Canon 200 mm prime lenses with 10-Megapixel M26C one shot color CCD imagers. The image comprises 30 x 20-minute sub-exposures for a total imaging time of 10-hours. Image processed using Photoshop CS3 and Noel Carboni's Astronomy Tools for Photoshop.