Image Credit: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF)



This strange looking nebula is a bok globule superimposed naturally atop a blue reflection nebula, dubbed Barnard 175. The pair are situated some 1,400 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cephus. The Bok glouble, known as Vdb 152 (also sometimes referred to as Wolf's Cave), is large - coming in at about 7 light-years across, but faint, which adds some contrast between the bok and the reflection nebula that blends in with it.


Said nebula is located right on the edge of a neighboring molecular cloud, where one particular bright star is responsible for ghostly apparition. When light from the star, dubbed B.D. +69° 1231, comes in contact with the dense grains of interstellar dust, the rays scatter, producing the defining blue glow that makes reflection nebulae memorable. This very same star ay also be the catalyst behind the reddish region nearby.


Also pictured here is another object with a different designation, Herbig Haro object (2) HH 450. This object is essentially a jet of material emitted by a young protostar. Whereas, the red filaments were generated by the detonation of a supernova, following the death of a massive star sometime in the distant past.

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