A new view on the Horsehead Nebula

Ever seen the Horsehead Nebula? If you look at the easternmost star in Orion's Belt through a telescope, you're likely to see something like this (the star is just off the image to your left):

A pretty little nebula, to be sure, but it doesn't look all that spectacular. I mean really, there's a fancy emission nebula behind some dust, that happens to look like a horse's head. It's mostly cloud-watching in space.

But then I saw a picture where Star Shadows Remote Observatory decided to over-expose the horsehead nebula and the area around it. Now, overexposing a region of sky is how you see fainter and fainter objects; that's how they got the Hubble Deep Field, for instance. Without further ado, here's what you see when you both overexpose the horsehead nebula and zoom way out:

Well, all I have to say is that I have both a new respect for the emission nebula IC 434 and for that dust that makes the horsehead so damn absorptive! Hope you like these pictures as much as I do, and feel free to look at the images separately; they're both higher resolution then I'm able to illustrate on this page!

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Can I use the above picture on my blog site, or anywhere else?

By MsBridgit (not verified) on 24 Sep 2013 #permalink