Astonishing Picture of Horsehead Nebula Revealed by NASA

On Tuesday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed a stunning picture of the Horsehead Nebula. It is known as a famous diffuse dark nebula discovered in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex in the constellation Orion. NASA said in a statement, "Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud by chance has assumed this recognizable shape."

The Horsehead Nebula. Source: NASA


The Hubble Space Telescope first captured the nebula in April 2013. The nebula is also known as Barnard 33, which is approximately 1,500 light-years away from Earth. "About five light-years' tall,' the dark cloud is catalogued as Barnard 33 and is visible only because its obscuring dust is silhouetted against the glowing red emission nebula IC 434," NASA said in a statement.


The Horsehead Nebula can be easily recognized in the sky as its shape resembles that of a horse's head and neck when observed from Earth. The scientists released the picture after collecting and combining different images recorded by various telescopes. The swirling clouds of gas and dark dust are lightened by a pinkish glow of hydrogen located behind the nebula.


"Gas clouds surrounding the Horsehead already have dissipated, but the tip of the jutting pillar contains a slightly higher density of hydrogen and helium, laced with dust," said NASA.