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Uploaded on Dec 5, 2009
Zooming into NGC 7023, or the Iris Nebula, a reflection nebula located in the constellation of Cepheus, the King. With bright light from the nearby HD 200775 illuminating it from above, the dust in the nebula resembles thick mounds of billowing cotton. It is actually made up of tiny particles of solid matter. Both background and foreground stars are dotted throughout the image. Researchers studying the object are particularly interested in the region to the left and slightly above center in the image, where dusty filaments appear redder than is expected.
Credit: ESO, S. Brunier, Digitized Sky Survey 2, Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona (Board of Regents) and ESA/Hubble