NCTom wrote:At the end of one of the legs of the dancing figure upper left of center is an encircled star. I know too little to hazard a guess. Is this some form of planetary nebula?
That would be V1331 Cyg, see: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1509a/
With its helical appearance resembling a snail’s shell, this reflection nebula seems to spiral out from a luminous central star in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image.
The star in the centre, known as V1331 Cyg and located in the dark cloud LDN 981 — or, more commonly, Lynds 981 — had previously been defined as a T Tauri star. A T Tauri is a young star — or Young Stellar Object — that is starting to contract to become a main sequence star similar to the Sun.
What makes V1331Cyg special is the fact that we look almost exactly at one of its poles. Usually, the view of a young star is obscured by the dust from the circumstellar disc and the envelope that surround it. However, with V1331Cyg we are actually looking in the exact direction of a jet driven by the star that is clearing the dust and giving us this magnificent view.
This view provides an almost undisturbed view of the star and its immediate surroundings allowing astronomers to study it in greater detail and look for features that might suggest the formation of a very
low-mass object in the outer circumstellar disc.
BTW, I don't think this region is the Northern Coalsack, which is south-southeast of Deneb (Alpha Cygni), under the southern wing of Cygnus. The pictured region, with LDN 988 and 981, is northeast of Deneb and outside of the usual stick figure of Cygnus. It looks more like the Le Gentil 3 region to me.