Reflection Nebula vdB 31 & Dark Clouds B 26, B27, B28
This reflection nebula was discovered by the Canadian astronomer Sidney van den Bergh on the photographic plates of the «Palomar Observatory Sky Survey» and published as 31st object (vdB 31) in 1966 in his «Catalogue of Reflection Nebulae».  To the north and west of this, several dark clouds (B 26, B 27 and B 28) obscure the view of stars lying behind. These were already recorded in 1919 by the American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard. 
The reflection nebula vdB 31 envolves the variable star AB Aurigae (BD 30°741), a Herbig A0-A1 star surrounded by a dust disk. He is at a distance of 162.9 ± 1.5 pc. Infrared images showed the disk to have a spiral structure, indicating the formation of one or more giant planets. This is an ideal object for studying planet formation due to its close proximity and low tilt angle to the dust disk. 
The reflection nebula vdb 31 with the dark clouds B 26, B 27 and B 28 is located in the constellation Auriga. The best viewing time is September to April.