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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2009

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Horsehead Nebula , Jana Einfeld

Horsehead Nebula

This picture is of the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation of Orion. This is a nebula which is primarily a dust cloud. The colors come from gasses being reflected by the dust the gasses come from the stars around it. The discovery of this object was recorded on a photographic plate in 1888. This was recorded at the Harvard College Observatory. The distance of this object is about 1,600 light-years away.

The Horsehead nebula looks like the head of a horse, thus giving it its name. This nebula is red because of the hydrogen gas in space. The blue rays coming down to the 'nose' of the horse are emitted by a very bright star above it, which also lights up the whole nebula. This is actually added in because of the way that the telescope is designed. In this image there are several layers of gas in which create the depth of the image. The dark part is the dust that absorbs the background light, creating a silouette. The stars that are visible and closes to us are giving off a blue refelection. It is by chance that the image appears to be a horse head. The rough linear size of the image is 1.956 light years.

References:

Professor Molnar

HubbleSite

NOAO

 

Right Ascension (J2000) 05:41:05.53
Declination (J2000) -02:27:58.9
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

November 7, 2009 (C)
November 7, 2009 (BVR)