Image of the Day: The Blue Beauty of the Polaris Nebula


Centered on North Star Polaris, this image covers part of a complex of diffuse dust clouds soaring high above the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. The combined light of the Milky Way stars are reflected by the dusty, galactic cirrus, the reflected starlight having the same blue tint of reflection nebulae. But this deep color image also records a faint reddish luminescence thought to be caused by complex organic molecules known as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), common constituents of interstellar dust.

Image credit: Steve Mandel, Hidden Valley Observatory


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