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Horsehead Nebula

Horsehead Nebula

R572/0046

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Credit

NOAO / AURA / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAO / AURA / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Horsehead Nebula, optical image. North is at left. The distinctive horsehead shape is formed by the dark nebula B33 being silhouetted against the bright emission nebula IC 434. The blue-white area at lower left is the reflection nebula NGC 2023. An emission nebula is a cloud of gas and dust that glows as the hydrogen gas it contains is ionised by hot stars within it. A reflection nebula does not emit light, but reflects the light from other stars. The nebulae lie about 1500 light years away in the constellation Orion. Photographed by the NSF 0.9-metre telescope, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA.

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