Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Reflection Nebula

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1360


A reflection nebula is that part of an interstellar  molecular cloud that is close enough to a star to be visible through the starlight reflected off the cloud’s dust. Since the dust scatters light more strongly at shorter wavelengths, the reflection nebula is bluish, and the spectrum is typically continuous. The appearance of a reflection nebula may be contrasted with that of an  emission nebula, where the spectrum consists of individual emission lines.

See Also

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA