A Stellar Nursery

©NASA

M-78

Illuminated by the light of nearby stars, the nebula M-78 exhibits a ghostly appearance in this 10-minute exposure taken with a 6" refractor at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

Located in the constellation of Orion -- some1,600 light years from Earth -- this reflection nebula is known to contain more than 40 very young stars still in the process of formation.

Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/MEO/Bill Cooke Larger image

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