Astronomy Picture of the Day

Horse Head Shaped Reflection Nebula IC 4592

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#91532 by @ 09.08.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Horse Head Shaped Reflection Nebula IC 4592

Do you see the horse's head?

What you are seeing is not the famous
Horsehead nebula toward Orion but
rather a fainter nebula that only takes on a familiar form with deeper imaging.

The main part of the
above imaged
molecular cloud complex is a
reflection nebula
cataloged as
IC 4592.

Reflection nebulas are actually made up of very fine
dust that normally appears dark but can
look quite blue when reflecting the light of energetic nearby stars.

In this case, the source of much of the reflected light is a star at the eye of the horse.

That star is part of
Nu Scorpii,
one of the brighter star systems toward the
constellation of Scorpius.

A second
reflection nebula
dubbed IC 4601 is visible surrounding two stars on the far right.

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