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Nebula Neighbor


When I step out onto my balcony and look East, I always have magnificent views. I look towards the ridge opposite my house in the Dandenong Ranges. There are frequent colorful sunrises that materialise behind the dead branches of a large tree jutting through the forest canopy. You’ll find a number of photos from my balcony with the tree top as subject (just see yesterday’s post).

I took this image some time ago and was struck by the contrast between the red rising sun and the black early morning sky. I then wondered, what would this view be like if we were much closer to other star systems. What if a nebula was a nearby neighbor? Here’s my minds eye of what that would look like. I’ve combined an image of nebula NGC 1333 with my tree view.

This image of NGC 1333 was taken using the Mosaic-1 imager and the National Science Foundation’s Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak. This star-forming region, located roughly 1,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Perseus, harbors hundreds of newly formed stars less than one million years old. Many of these proto-stars exhibit energetic activity such as jets and strong stellar winds. NGC 1333 credit T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF