The brightest six stars in this nebula form a little dipper standing with its handle straight up. This is the same star pattern as the Pleiades.

This star cluster is 3,000 light years away in a rich star field in the circumpolar constellation Cepheus the King. The nebula is much larger than the starlit portion. The dark part extends to almost completely block the background stars, especially on the right side.

Dusty regions like this are plentiful in the disk of the Milky Way galaxy. There are subtle tones of blue, red, and yellow that reveal the colors of the million-year-old newborn stars. Blue is dust reflecting the intense blue light from the brightest stars. Red is ionized hydrogen gas. Yellow is combined ionized oxygen and sulfur.

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