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 ?
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.
The northern portion of M20 is a smaller, fainter reflection nebula enveloping a 7.
Far to the north in Cepheus can be found the pretty reflection nebula NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula.
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.
This reflection nebula, a cloud of dark interstellar dust and gas, is illuminated by a pair of embedded stars.
Caption: CAPTURING THE BUBBLE A five-hour total exposure reveals not just the Merope reflection nebula, but also the dust through which the Pleiades cluster happens to be passing.
T Cephei, 10[degrees] north-northwest of Mu, is less famous but well worth a look--especially because the reflection nebula NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula, awaits you Io to the west-southwest.
Nebulae Dark and Bright Object Type Opacity Size B150 Dark Nebula 5 60' IC 1396 Emission Nebula -- 170'x140' B365 Dark Nebula 4 10' B161 Dark Nebula 6 3' B163 Dark Nebula 4 4' vdB 142 Reflection Nebula -- 49' B366 Dark Nebula 3 10' B169 Dark Nebula 3 60' B170 Dark Nebula 4 15' B171 Dark Nebula 5 9T B173 Dark Nebula 6 4' B174 Dark Nebula 6 19' Object RA Dec.
Only a slight elongation can be seen in the eyepiece, and since it's a reflection nebula, filters won't enhance its visibility.
On an exceptionally transparent night, the H II region can take on a warm hue that subtly contrasts with the cool hue of the fainter reflection nebula to its north.