Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
March 1, 1996
A Mysterious Cone Nebula
Credit: Anglo-Australian Telescope photograph by David Malin
Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope Board
Explanation: Sometimes the simplest shapes are the hardest to explain. For example, the origin of the mysterious cone-shaped region located just below the center of the above picture remains a mystery. The dark region clearly contains much dust which blocks light from the emission nebula and open cluster NGC 2264 behind it. One hypothesis holds that the cone is formed by wind particles from an energetic source blowing past the Bok globule at the head of the cone.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC