EPOD: Wide Field Image of the Horsehead Nebula

Great News!  Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) have selected one of our pictures – the Wide Field Image of the Horsehead nebula as picture of day today.  If you haven’t bookmarked the EPOD site then do it now!

The wide field image of the Horsehead region near the bright star Alnitak in the belt of Orion was taken using the Sky 90/SXVF-M25C combination by Greg at the New Forest Observatory and processed by Noel in Florida, U.S.A.   You can see the Horsehead Nebula at the center of the image.  

The region of space where the Horsehead Nebula is found is quite unique in that it has all of the major types of nebulae:

  • The blue reflection nebulae including IC2023 and IC2024.
  • The horsehead nebula iteslef (a dark nebula that resembles a horse head) B33.
  • The deep red emission nebula (behind the Horsehead) IC434.

The deep red emission nebula behind the Horsehead is ionised hydrogen [Hydrogen alpha radiation, or just H-alpha] emitting light at 656 nm and is designated IC434.

This area of space is possibly the most photographed region of the Heavens – and with good reason – it’s completely awe inspiring.

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