Stunning New Look at Reflection Nebula Messier 78

A new image from ESO of the reflection nebula Messier 78. Credit: ESO and Igor Chekalin

Here’s another “Hidden Treasure” from the European Southern Observatory, from the astrophotography competition where amateurs create images from unused ESO data. In this new image of Messier 78, brilliant starlight ricochets off dust particles in the nebula, illuminating it with scattered blue light and creating what is called a reflection nebula. Almost like fog around a street light, a reflection nebula shines only with the light from an embedded source that illuminates the dust. This image was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Comparing this image with others previously taken of Messier 78 shows that remarkably, this object has changed significantly in the last ten years.

This beautiful image was the overall winner of ESO’s Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition created by Igor Chekalin, who won with his image of this stunning object. (…) Read the rest of Stunning New Look at Reflection Nebula Messier 78 (387 words)

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(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2011. | Permalink | 7 comments | Add to Post

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