These two images are of the same part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud, about 450 light-years from Earth. Its relative closeness makes it an ideal place to study the formation of stars. The dramatic comparison shows how clouds of cosmic dust grains appear dark and obscuring when observed with visible light (left image), but are seen to glow when observed with light of wavelengths around one millimetre (right image). The observations on the right were made with the LABOCA camera on the APEX telescope. The upper-right part of the dusty filament shown here is known as Barnard 211, while the lower-left part is Barnard 213.
ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/A. Hacar et al./Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin.