Missing the Horsehead Nebula in Infrared Photo

Astronomy Science ~ One of the most famous nebulae in the night sky - Horsehead nebula - seemed to disappear in the new NASA images taken i...

Astronomy Science ~ One of the most famous nebulae in the night sky - Horsehead nebula - seemed to disappear in the new NASA images taken in infrared light. In the new photo captured by NASA's Spitzer telescope, the dark Horsehead Nebula lose its distinctive shape because infrared wavelengths of light used to create these images penetrate cosmic dust. The dust that form this nebula look like "Horse Head". Without the presence of dust, the head of the horse is also invisible.

The main display new image taken by Spitzer is the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, home of the Horsehead Nebula. In the middle of the picture is the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) and to the right, just beside Horsehead, is smaller nebula called NGC 2023. Collectively, all of this area is about 1,200 light years from Earth.

Shape of the famous horse head nebula was lost in infrared images taken by NASA's Spitzer telescope. Horsehead Nebula is a small part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. In this picture, the Flame nebula (NGC 2024) dominates the central region and another nebula called NGC 2023 lies between Flame and Horsehead Nebula.
Horsehead official name is Barnard 33 or B33. It was first discovered on a photographic plate in 1888 in the Harvard College Observatory. The inventor is Williamina Fleming, assistant professor of astronomy Edward Pickering. Fleming had a prolific career, finding 58 other nebulae, 10 nova and more than 300 variable stars.

This nebula's official name comes from Edward Barnard, an American astronomer. No one knows when the name "Horsehead Nebula" was first used, NASA officials said.

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AstroNation: Missing the Horsehead Nebula in Infrared Photo
Missing the Horsehead Nebula in Infrared Photo
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