Adrift 1,500 light-years away in one of
the night sky's
constellations, the glowing
Orion Nebula and the dark
Horsehead Nebula are contrasting
They both appear in this stunning composite digital image
assembled from over 20 hours of data that includes exposures
filtered to record emission from hydrogen
The view reveals extensive
nebulosities associated with
the giant Orion Molecular
complex, itself hundreds of light-years across.
The magnificent emission region, the
Nebula (aka M42), lies at the
upper right of the picture.
Immediately to its left are a cluster of
of prominent bluish
reflection nebulae sometimes called
the Running Man.
nebula appears as a dark cloud, a small silhouette
notched against the long red glow at the lower left.
Alnitak is the easternmost star in Orion's belt and
is seen as the brightest star to the left of the Horsehead.
Below Alnitak is the
Flame Nebula, with clouds of
bright emission and dramatic dark dust lanes.
Fainter tendrils of glowing hydrogen gas are easily traced
throughout the region in
Orion deep field.