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Horsehead Nebula

Horsehead Nebula

Horsehead Nebula in Orion – Click to Enlarge

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.

The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming at the Harvard College Observatory. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which bears some resemblance to a horse’s head when viewed from Earth.

The nebula is a difficult object to see visually and usually requires a special filter be attached to the eyepiece which improves the contrast of the object. This shot was taken in 2009 at Catfish Observatory and consist of 15 individual shots 1 minute in length each, stacked up to amplify the light captured.