lbn 777
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This bizarre structure is a rather obscure reflection nebula known as LBN 777, as it is the 777th entry in a catalogue of nebulae established by astronomer Beverly T. Lynds in 1965. The strange coloration of the nebulosity has much to do with it's high galactic latitude relative to the disc of our galaxy, and the fact that there are no relatively bright young stars nearby to illuminate the interstellar dust via scattered blue light. The association of the bright red giant HD25596 near the bottom of the nebula, however, was suspected immediately after its discovery. A 1975 journal article by Martin Cohen established that the late type M4-class star is indeed moving into the nebulous body through a random encounter in space! The deeply colored dusty region near the lower left corner of the structure is the dark nebula B 107, which has many characteristics of a low-mass star-formation region. Several Herbig-Haro type objects have been discovered within the dense cloud. Furthermore, if you happen to think that the background looks a little strange, I assure you that it is very real. The entire backdrop of this image is literally sprawling with extremely faint nebulosity which appears quite filamentary in nature. I highly suspect that these anonymous tendrils belong to an exotic class of nebula known as galactic-cirrus. Such nebulae are thought to be relatively warm, low-density strands of interstellar gas and dust typically found at high galactic altitudes. The translucent nature of this material can be easily seen by clicking here, which pulls up a b&w negative version of this image with the contrast stretched to its limits. Note that the otherwise faint LBN 777 on the b&w image appears essentially overexposed! Of an interesting side note is the presence of several distant spiral galaxies in the high-resolution color version, despite the existence of the tenous cirrus nebulosity. Image taken with homemade 8-inch f/5.4 astrograph and SBIG STL-11000M. LRGB image composed of 200 minutes of L and 60 minutes each R,G,B. Be sure to click on the above image for the high resolution version.