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Reflection Nebula

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The Reflection Nebula

South of the Orion Nebula lies the intriguing Reflection Nebula. The dark mass was originally thought of as a condensation of cold molecular gas and dust (called a bok globule) so thick and dense that it blocks light. However, when the Hubble investigated this strange object it could detect no gas. It turns out it is a hole after all, perhaps the hole was created by the activity of new stars nearby blasting away the material. Viewing as a stereo clearly points to a dark hole punched through a nebula!

   
 
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All images © Brian Smallwood