IC 2631 (Ced 112) is a brilliant blue reflection nebula surrounding the young star, HD973000, about 500 light years distant in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon. As can be seen in the image above, the Chamaeleon cloud complex is a large region of gas and dust where new stars are forming. The dust partially or nearly totally obscures the stars within and behind it. HD973000 is a T Tauri star, the youngest visible stage for relatively small stars. Eventually they will lose mass and shrink but for now they will spend billions of years as a main sequence star. The image shows the complexity of the dust cloud surrounding the bright reflection nebula.
Published in Astronomy, July 2016, p. 72