reflection nebula


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Related to reflection nebula: absorption nebula, Dark nebulae

reflection nebula

A bright cloud of interstellar gas and dust that lies near and somewhat to one side of a star or stellar group, usually of spectral type B2 or later. The starlight is scattered in all directions by the dust grains, the density of which is sufficient to produce a noticeable illumination of the cloud. The light scattered toward the observer is bluer than that of the illuminating star but the spectra of cloud and star are essentially the same – a continuous spectrum with absorption lines. (If there is sufficient dust in an emission nebula, it will cause the stars' absorption spectra to be added to the normal emission spectrum of the nebula.) Reflection nebulosity is characteristic of young clusters and associations; the dust is dispersed in about 100 million years. Typical reflection nebulae occur around the brighter stars of the Pleiades. See also nebula.

reflection nebula

[ri′flek·shən ‚neb·yə·lə]
(astronomy)
A type of bright diffuse nebula composed mainly of cosmic dust; it is visible because of starlight from nearby stars or nebula stars that is scattered by the dust particles.
References in periodicals archive ?
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope also previously (https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_701.html) captured another reflection nebula in Orion, the NGC 1999.
Cosmic dust reflects and scatters the light streaming from the young, bluish stars in Messier 78s heart, the reason it is known as a reflection nebula.
These two stars, one with a reflection nebula and one without, make a very nice side-by-side display.
Caption: Snugged under the northern wing of the Swan, the blue reflection nebula NGC 6914 trails from a star pair at the southeastern edge of LDN 899.
M78 is another nice reflection nebula, about a quarter of the way between Alnitak and Betelgeuse.
Molecular gas is dense within the cavity wall, and HD 200775 illuminates the gas closest to the star, forming the reflection nebula NGC 7023.
Caption: CLUMPS OF STARS, CLOUDS OF NEBULOSITY Despite its ragged appearance, Roslund 4 is a single, sparse cluster enveloped in a convoluted reflection nebula. Two bright concentrations of nebulosity explain the double designation of IC 4954 and IC 4955, often denoted IC 4954/5.
In the bluish patch to the upper left of the image, called a reflection nebula, gas scatters the light from nearby, Trifid-born stars.
The northern portion of M20 is a smaller, fainter reflection nebula enveloping a 7.5-magnitude star.
The sjnall reflection nebula near its center, IC 2087, is sometimes called the Little Flame.
Dr Hewitt's favourite part of this area was a field showing the reflection nebula NGC 6914 and the emission nebulae van den Berg 31 and 32, to the north-east of Gamma Cygni.