This image of the reflection nebula Messier 78 (NGC 2068) includes the soft glow of  submillimetre-wavelength (infra red) radiation from clouds of interstellar dust grains running through the nebula.Dense clouds of gas and dust like this are the birthplaces of new stars.

Image of M78

This submillimetre-wavelength image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula M78 made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope (overlaid on a view of the same region in visible light) shows the position of interstellar dust grains (orange) to show where new stars are being formed.(Image credit:ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T.Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2)

 

M78 is found in Orion, and appropriately this image reminds me of Roy Batty’s last worlds from Blade Runner (directed by Ridley Scott, written by Philip K. Dick and Hampton Francher)

 I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Note though that the glowing orange dust is only relatively warm (in fact its temperature is only just above absolute zero) and appears completely black in visible wavelengths.

(Article by Colin Johnston, science Communicator)

 

 


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