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Reflection Nebula

A cloud of interstellar gas or dust that becomes visible by the reflection of light from nearby stars.

Messier 78, northeastward of Orion's Belt, is an example of a reflection nebula. A binary pair of blue stars, HD 38563, shine their light across a patch of the Orion Molecular Cloud, creating a bright zone that is partially obscured by an arcing tendril of dark material. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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