Astronomy Picture of the Day
The Horsehead Nebula:
The Horsehead Nebula is part of the Constellation called Orion (The Hunter). You can see the Orion constellation from DPS Tapi very clearly in winter (in fact it is very difficult to miss this constellation). A Nebula is a cloud of dust and gases where new stars are formed (a stellar nursery). The Horsehead Nebula is about 1500 light years from Earth. It is also known as Barnard 33 . The nebula is located just below the star Alnitak in Orion’s belt. It is a part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. It’s shape bears some resemblance to a horse’s head when viewed from Earth. It is made of a swirling cloud of dark dust and gases. This stellar nursery contains over 100 known organic and inorganic gases as well as dust consisting of large and complex organic molecules. The red or pinkish glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. A glowing strip of hydrogen gas marks the edge of this cloud.