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Discovered on 5 September 1784 by astronomer William Herschel, the Veil Nebula was once a star. Now it is a twisted mass of shock waves that appears six times larger than the full Moon in the sky. This Hubble Space Telescope image shows just a small part of the nebula, a region known as the 'south-eastern knot'. The entire nebula is about 50 light years in radius, and is located almost 1500 light years away. Read more at:

The Veil Nebula, segment 2

The Veil Nebula, segment 2 - A portion of the Veil Nebula, left behind with the violent explosion of a massive star, shows delicate wisps of gas and dust.

The Prawn Nebula.. Nearby hot, massive stars, millions of years young, radiate the nebula with invisible ultraviolet light, stripping electrons from atoms. The electrons eventually recombine with the atoms to produce the visible nebular glow, dominated by the red emission of hydrogen. At an estimated distance of 6,000 light-years, the region shown is about 250 light-years across.

An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, in the image center, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left. The same type of scattering that colors the daytime sky further enhances the blue color.