This cosmic expanse of dust, gas, and stars covers some 3 degrees on the sky in the heroic constellation Perseus.
At upper left in the gorgeous skyscape is the intriguing young star cluster IC 348 and neighboring Flying Ghost Nebula on the outskirts of the giant Perseus Molecular Cloud, about 850 light-years away.
Other dusty nebulae are scattered around the field of view, along with the faint reddish glow of hydrogen gas. In fact, the cosmic dust tends to hide the
newly formed stars and young stellar objects or protostars from prying optical telescopes. Collapsing due to self-gravity, the protostars form from the
dense cores embedded in the dusty molecular cloud. At the molecular cloud's estimated distance, this field of view would span almost 35 light-years.
[Text adapted from APOD]