|This image of the Horesehead Nebula region in Orion was obtained by amateur astronomer Michael Weiland of the University of Constance, Germany, member of the Interessengemeinschaft Astronomie.|
The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is the dark globule near the center of this image. It is obscuring the modestly bright, extended nebula IC 434, which extends south of the bright star Zeta Orionis (one of Orion's belt stars). Note that the Horsehead is just an extrusion of a large dark nebula covering about the left half of our image, and thus extincting the light of the stars from behind so that only the few stars in front of this nebula can be seen: The star density here is apparently much lower than in the right half of the image. The bright small nebula close and left of the Horsehead in our image is the reflection nebula NGC 2023, which must also lie in front of the dark nebula. Left of the bright star Zeta Orionis is the bright and conspicuous emission nebula NGC 2024, which is also a remarkable radio source (Orion B). All these nebulae are part of the large Orion cloud which is centered at the Great Orion Nebula M42 and extends over several hundreds of light years and is about 1,600 light years remote.
Bill Arnett's Horsehead Nebula photo page and info page.
Last Modification: March 8, 1998