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Illustration of a Reflection Nebula

A typical Reflection Nebula - clouds of interstellar material are illuminated by the two bright stars in the foreground.

In simple terms, a cloud of interstellar gas and dust. Though they can exist in many forms, nebulae tend to be associated with the beginnings and endings of stars. Nebulae form the raw material for the formation of stars, but are also created by material 'cast off' by stars in their final stages of life.

The Sadr Region, also called the Gamma Cygni Nebula or IC 1318, is a vast complex of nebulae in the central parts of Cygnus the Swan. It forms a backdrop to the supergiant star Sadr or Gamma Cygni (which can be seen at centre left in this image). The entire region of nebulosity spans several hundred light years. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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