Recent reports indicate that a garbled distress call from somewhere in the Col 70 sector has been received. The news has been met with surprise from some quarters, given that permit restrictions have made the sector relatively inaccessible.
"We're not sure what to make of it," said Perry Hussein, a member of the Federal intelligence community, "but it was definitely a distress call and the ship that sent it appears to have been destroyed. The telemetry indicates it was an older vessel, perhaps Cobra class."
NGC 2174 (also known as Monkey Head Nebula) is an H II emission nebula located in the constellation Orion and is associated with the open star cluster NGC 2175. It is thought to be located about 6,400 light-years away from Earth. The nebula may have formed through hierarchical collapse.
There is some equivocation in the use of the identifiers NGC 2174 and NGC 2175. These may apply to the entire nebula, to its brightest knot, or to the star cluster it includes. Burnham's Celestial Handbook lists the entire nebula as 2174/2175 and does not mention the star cluster. The NGC Project (working from the original descriptive notes) assigns NGC 2174 to the prominent knot at J2000 06h 09m 23.7s, +20° 39′ 34″ and NGC 2175 to the entire nebula, and by extension to the star cluster. Simbad uses NGC 2174 for the nebula and NGC 2175 for the star cluster.