Today in pretty space pics: the constellation Monoceros, also known as the unicorn. A solid 2,700 light-years from Earth, this cluster of gas and dust is more formally cataloged as NGC 2264, a star-forming region that shines with both emission nebulae excited by the high energy given off by newborn stars (red) and reflection nebulae, which is light simply bouncing off interstellar dust near young, hot stars (blue).
By any other name, this deep space pic of the Rosette nebula is still beautiful. By snapping images at four different wavelengths in the infrared spectrum, NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Explorer (WISE) recently peered deep within the constellation Monoceros, or Unicorn, to capture this floral swirl of gas, dust, and stars some 4,500 to 5,000 light years away.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.