Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
vdB 152 Reflection Nebula
Wolf's Cave Complex
Mouse over the above image to see the designations of the various objects
Van den Bergh 152, also known as Cederblad 201, is the blue reflection nebula located in the center left of the above image . The large dark nebula stretching to the right of vdB 152 is Barnard 175, a Bok Globule. This complex, also called Wolf's Cave, is located about 1,400 light years away in the direction of the constellation of Cepheus.
Full of very faint dust, this area is part of a large molecular cloud named the Cepheus Flare by Edwin Hubble. The opaque dust blocks most of the starlight behind it, but blue light from a young star is scattered and reflected off some of the particles to illuminate the reflection part of the nebula. The 9.3 magnitude star B.D. +69° 1231, inside vdB 152, seems to be powering the nebulae in the area, but is not thought to have formed there, but rather is just passing through. Lynd's Bright Nebula (LBN 538) can also be seen near the top right of the image (mouse over image for object identification). North is to the right in this image.
Thevan den Bergh catalog was published by Sidney van den Bergh in 1966 from a study of the Palomar Sky Survey and contains 158 reflection nebulae.
Barnard 175 was cataloged by E. E. Barnard inA Photographic Atlas of Selected Areas of the Milky Way from photographs made at Lick Observatory from 1889-1895, but not printed until 1913.