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January Wenesday 13, 2016 at 15:48
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Today's Picture

The1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers,like this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulaein Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from thenearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula .Found along Orion's sword just northof the bright Orion Nebula complex, these reflection nebulae arealso associatedwith Orion's giant molecular cloud about1,500 light-years away, butare dominated by the characteristic blue color of interstellar dust reflecting light from hot young stars.In thissharp color image a portion of the Orion Nebulaappearsalong the bottom border with the cluster of reflection nebulae at picture center.NGC 1977 stretches across the field just below center,separated from NGC 1973 (above right) and NGC 1975 (above left)by dark regions laced with faint red emission fromhydrogen atoms.Taken together, the dark regions suggest to many theshape of a running man .