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Barnard 163 (B 163)

It may look to some like a duck, but it lays stars instead of eggs. In the center of this image lies Barnard 163, a nebula of molecular gas and dust so thick that visible light can't shine through it. With a wing span measured in light years, Barnard 163's insides are surely colder than its exterior, allowing conditions where gas can clump and eventually form stars. Barnard 163 lies about 3,000 light years from Earth toward the constellation of Cepheus the King. The red glow in the background results from IC 1396, a large emission nebula that houses the Elephant's Trunk Nebula. Finding Barnard 163 in an image of its greater emission nebula IC 1396 can be a challenge, but it's possible.
(Text from Astronomy Piture of the Day)

Full-res file is about 21 Megapixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 1,3 x 1,3 (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0,5).
The image is available for Museum, Planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in very high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.

This color image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken between 1989 and 1991 through the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue and later they were digitized. Credit: Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.

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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.