M78 reflection nebula, infrared image

M78 reflection nebula, infrared image


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M78 (NGC 2068) reflection nebula, infrared image. This nebula is 1600 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Orion. This image was obtained with the IRAC and MIPS instruments on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Infrared radiation of increasing wavelength (decreasing temperature) has been color-coded blue, green, and red. In visible light, this nebula reflects light, but infrared emissions give a different view, showing the glowing interior where young stars carve out cavities within the dust. New stars that have yet to burn their way through their birth shells are seen as red pinpoints (upper right). Image published in 2011.

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