The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is a dark nebula located near the star Alnitak which is the easternmost star in the belt of Orion. The constellation Orion is very prominent in he winter evening sky.

The nebula lies at approximately 1.500 light years from Earth, and is approximately 3.5 light years wide. A lot of star formation is taking place in this region. The red glow comes from hydrogen gas mostly behind the nebula which is ionized by the bright star Sigma Orionis.

The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust.
Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula’s base are young stars which are in the process of forming.

Previous/older images:

Dec 28, 2008 – Canon 350D (80mm TMB-6h 25m)

Image data

Name B33 in IC434 – The Horsehead Nebula
Type Dark nebula/Emission nebula
Constellation Orion
Right ascension 05h 40m 59s
Declination -02° 27′ 30″
Distance 1.500 ly
Other designations Barnard 33, IC434, LDN1630