Pictures of the Running Man Nebula
Images of and facts about the Running Man Nebula NGC 1977.
The Running Man Nebula - NGC 1977 or Sh2-279 - is a reflection nebula that can be found in the Orion constellation, 1,460 lightyears away.
It's located along the sword of Orion, north of the Orion Nebula, and is known as the Running Man Nebula because many observers think it bears a resemblance to a human figure running with its arms in motion.
It was discovered by William Herschel in 1786, and its proximity to the Orion Nebula means the two are often photographed alongside one another.
The Running Man Nebula is actually composed of three nebulae: NGC 1973, NGC 1975, and NGC 1977.
NGC 1977 is also known as the Ghost Nebula, which is perhaps a better fit. The nebula looks like a classic cartoon ghost, with its pointed head and wavy arms and legs, as though it's a cosmic spectre floating through space.
Below is a selection of images of the Running Man Nebula captured by astrophotographers and BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers from around the world.