Release Images

Release No.: 2005-34
For Release: Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - 7:00pm

Cosmic Cloudshine: Its Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

At optical wavelengths, the Perseus region is awash in "dark" nebulae - regions of gas and dust thick enough to block light from background stars. By looking at invisible, near-infrared wavelengths, astronomers Jonathan Foster and Alyssa Goodman discovered that these apparently "dark" clouds actually shine with reflected ambient starlight. Cloudshine images will offer a new way of precisely mapping those clouds, which mark the birthplaces of new stars. The boxed regions are L1448 (top) and L1451 (bottom), respectively.

E.E. Barnard (from his Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way)