The Horsehead Nebula
One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula's base are young stars just in the process of forming. Light takes about 1500 years to reach us from the Horsehead Nebula. The above image was taken with the 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory.The Space Store is an online store offering fine quality space products from our on-line discount store. Shop our store to buy NASA gifts, SpaceX Products, Space Shuttle collectibles, International Space Station and Apollo space program products. Buy astronaut autographs, space and NASA memorabilia and collectibles, space toys, rockets, astronaut dolls, space LEGO toys, and astronaut costumes. We sell NASA flight suits, space shuttle flight jackets, NASA mission patches and mission insignia pins. Shop us for Fisher space pens, meteorite jewelry and astronomy toys.