If you were "knocking on Heaven's door.." then this might be the
keyhole you could peer through. The bright star in the center of
this nebula is V380 Orionis and the entire complex is just south of
the much more famous Orion Nebula. V380 Orionis
is a very young (variable) star. Its natal clouds of gas and dust still
surround it. The blue color indicates much of the light in this
region is being strongly scattered (like the blue daytime sky) instead
of glowing red like much of the rest of the field. The dark keyhole-like
structure is a very thick cloud of dust (and gas) that totally blocks
the light of the illuminated region behind it.
This kind of dark cloud is often called a "Bok Globule"- named
after the late University of Arizona astronomer Bart Bok. Bok Globules
are thought to harbor proto-stars that may burst forth into full-fledged
|L R G B color production was used to create this image.||
Minimum credit line: Dan and Erica Simpson/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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