Three Views of the Horsehead Nebula


The Horsehead Nebula (aka Barnard 33) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. It’s found just to the south of the star Alnitak, the east-most star on Orion’s Belt. It’is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. That black-and-white image is shown on the left. The one on the left below is a modern color image of the nebula. On the right is an infrared image recently taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

One thought on “Three Views of the Horsehead Nebula

  1. Biron said absently, “You know why they call it the Horsehead Nebula, Gil?”
    “The first man to enter it was Horace Hedd. Are you going to tell me that’s wrong?”
    “It may be. They have a different explanation on Earth.”
    “Oh?”
    “They claim it’s called that because it looks like a horse’s head.”
    “What’s a horse?”

    — “The Stars Like Dust”, Isaac Asimov

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