IC 426 – Reflection Nebula

Being a reflection nebula, it is not shining from atoms excited by radiation from nearby stars. Rather, it is reflecting light from the stars around it. And much like our Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light, making our sky blue, this nebula shows off a distinct bluish hue.

This cloud of gas and dust boasts a concentration of 10 billion molecules per cubic meter, which is still one trillionth the density of Earth’s atmosphere. Still, the density of this cloud is high enough that with enough of a push from some future supernova or other external force, stars could be born within it some day.

You will also see much rarer gas around in the area and the bright stars in the area are lighting these really faint clouds.

I took this image over 9.2 hours (19 images of Luminance of 20 minutes each and 7,7,4 images of RGB colors of 10 min each)


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