The nebula surrounding bright star S Mon is filled with dark dust and glowing gas. The strange shapes [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020108.html ] originate from fine interstellar dust [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap990509.html ] reacting in complex ways with the energetic light and hot gas being expelled by the young stars. The region just below S Mon [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010424.html ], the bright star in the above picture [ http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat014b.html ], is nicknamed the Fox Fur Nebula for its color and texture. The blue glow directly surrounding S Mon results from reflection [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/reflection_nebulae.html ], where neighboring dust reflects light from the bright star. The more diffuse red glow results from emission [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/emission_nebulae.html ], where starlight ionizes hydrogen [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010113.html ] gas. Pink areas are lit by a combination of the two processes. S Mon is part of a young open cluster [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/open_clusters.html ] of stars named NGC 2264 [ http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=2002AAS...200.7002L ], located about 2500 light years [ http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980211a.html ] away toward the constellation [ http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/extra/constellations.html ] of Monoceros [ http://www.hawastsoc.org/deepsky/mon/index.html ], just north [ http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat014.html ] of the Cone Nebula [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020503.html ].