Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum



This colorful image takes a look at the lesser known neighbor of the Christmas Tree Cluster and the Cone Nebula; two of the most famous star-forming regions in the galaxy.


IC 2169, as its called, is fed a collection of stars located in a neighboring molecular cloud, called Monoceros R1. Most notable is HD 31038. The star is responsible for the small reflection nebula contained to the west of the Cone nebula. The light from this star scatters when it comes in contact with dense grains of interstellar dust, Since scattering tends to be more effective for light on the bluer end of the electromagnetic spectrum (instead of red), we see te lovely bluish glow that defines reflection nebulae.


All three regions can be found approximately 2,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Monoceros.


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