August 29 Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2022 August 29

The Horsehead Nebula Region without Stars

Image Credit & Copyright: George Chatzifrantzis

Explanation: The famous Horsehead Nebula in Orion is not alone. A deep exposure shows that the dark familiar shaped indentation, visible just right of center, is part of a vast complex of absorbing dust and glowing gas. The featured spectacular picture details an intricate tapestry of gaseous wisps and dust-laden filaments that were created and sculpted over eons by stellar winds and ancient supernovas. The Flame Nebula is visible in orange just to the Horsehead’s left. To highlight the dust and gas, most of the stars have been digitally removed, although a notable exception is Alnitak, just above the Flame Nebula, which is the rightmost star in Orion’s famous belt of three aligned stars. The Horsehead Nebula lies 1,500 light years distant towards the constellation of Orion.

 

NASA Coverage: Artemis I Mission to the Moon
Teachers & Students: Ideas for utilizing APOD in the classroom