Sunday, January 5, 2014

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 01/05/14 - IC 4678

This magnificent image has several areas of interest: First and foremost, we have the Lagoon nebula, one of the most photographed star forming regions in our galaxy. Pictured close-by is IC 4678, an emission nebula comprised of glowing red gas, surrounded by intricate filaments of material. Moving onward, we see a small reflection nebula (the small blue area containing two bright stars). Lastly, we have a dark absorption nebula, which contains so much opaque dust, the activity going on inside of the area is obscured from sight.

IC 4678 (and its respective regions) can be found more than 5,000 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation. Overall, the area spans more than 25 light-years across.

Sources & Further Reading:

Image Credit: Ken Siarkiewicz & Adam Block, NOAO, AURA, NSF

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