[M78, 2MASS IR image]

Infrared image of the region around reflection nebulae M78 (NGC 2068) and NGC 2071, taken with the 2MASS telescope facility at a wavelength of 2 micron. This complex is located in the LDN 1630 (Orion B) cloud, part of the giant Orion Molecular Cloud, at about 1600 light years distance. The reflection nebulae are dusty regions that scatter and reflect the light from typically bright, hot, blue stars within the regions. They are associated with molecular clouds and the dusty sites of active star formation. The illuminating stars for M78 (to the south/lower) are HDE 38563A and 38563B, while the illuminating star for NGC 2071 (to the north) is HDE 290861. The two nebulae appear to contain small clusters of stars. A number of embedded, young stellar objects are located throughout this region, highlighted by the large number of dramatic Herbig-Haro outflow sources. Lada et al. conducted a 2.2 micrometer survey of L1630, complete to K<13 (the 2MASS data go deeper than this), and concluded that much of the young, embedded star formation is occurring in clusters. The image mosaic was created by S. Van Dyk (IPAC). Field size is 33.3' x 46.1'.

The M78 part of this image is featured separately.

  • Hi-res version of this image [4.5M jpg]
  • More 2MASS images

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: 30 May 2000