APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD Robot
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APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed May 13, 2015 4:06 am

Image The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula

Explanation: Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, a magnificent interstellar dust cloud by chance has assumed this recognizable shape. Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula, it is some 1,500 light-years distant, embedded in the vast Orion cloud complex. About five light-years "tall", the dark cloud is cataloged as Barnard 33 and is visible only because its obscuring dust is silhouetted against the glowing red emission nebula IC 434. Stars are forming within the dark cloud. Contrasting blue reflection nebula NGC 2023, surrounding a hot, young star, is at the lower left. The gorgeous featured image combines both narrowband and broadband images.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by inertnet » Wed May 13, 2015 8:20 am

Can someone explain where the pink halo around the head comes from? Is that an image enhancement artifact? It doesn't seem to belong to the head, is it something in the line of sight behind the head? It doesn't seem 'natural' to me because the head has dark edges.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by CURRAHEE CHRIS » Wed May 13, 2015 12:00 pm

Yayyy!!! I actually knew what the image in the picture was before I read the description!!! Go ME!!! :)

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed May 13, 2015 1:54 pm

APOD Robot wrote:Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula...
Or not so fittingly named. It always brings the other end to mind for me.
hh-ass.jpg
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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Markus Schwarz » Wed May 13, 2015 2:39 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:Or not so fittingly named. It always brings the other end to mind for me.
Thanks, Chris! Now, how do I get this image out of my mind?

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Donnageddon » Wed May 13, 2015 2:48 pm

Yeah, I am not sure I will ever not see it as the Horse's Patootie nebula from now on.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed May 13, 2015 2:57 pm

Markus Schwarz wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:Or not so fittingly named. It always brings the other end to mind for me.
Thanks, Chris! Now, how do I get this image out of my mind?
If my experience is any example, it's there for life. Once you see it this way, you've seen the truth.
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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed May 13, 2015 4:32 pm

Just AWESOME... looks like it is standing on a pillar of dust....a Chess Piece indeed...sideways, or Backside...

To get Chris's image out of your head, try holding up a chess Knight sideways...and look real hard...replace the image with your OWN pareidolia...

Did not think Chris HAD pareidolia...but he seems to have a VERY GOOD one...

There is also a Rising Serpent up the Stand of Dust...he is low and his tongue is sticking out to the left...to the right of the star...

Great Job..

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Last edited by Boomer12k on Wed May 13, 2015 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by illexsquid » Wed May 13, 2015 4:35 pm

What... no Magrathea comments?

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Craine
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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Craine » Wed May 13, 2015 4:55 pm

illexsquid wrote:What... no Magrathea comments?
Sorry, but until somebody invents an Improbability drive, Margrathea's existence remains fiction.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Wed May 13, 2015 4:59 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Markus Schwarz wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:Or not so fittingly named. It always brings the other end to mind for me.
Thanks, Chris! Now, how do I get this image out of my mind?
If my experience is any example, it's there for life. Once you see it this way, you've seen the truth.
I don't suppose it'll ever be changed to the "Horsehind Nebula" but you've made a lot of believers today Chris. :cowboy:
Make Mars not Wars

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by illexsquid » Wed May 13, 2015 5:04 pm

Craine wrote:
illexsquid wrote:What... no Magrathea comments?
Sorry, but until somebody invents an Improbability drive, Margrathea's existence remains fiction.
So it seems I've put the cart before the... uh... dang it, Chris!

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Craine
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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Craine » Wed May 13, 2015 6:08 pm

illexsquid wrote:
Craine wrote:
illexsquid wrote:What... no Magrathea comments?
Sorry, but until somebody invents an Improbability drive, Margrathea's existence remains fiction.
So it seems I've put the cart before the... uh... dang it, Chris!
It may not be as bad as it sounds. With the recent kerfuffle around the EM Drive the boffins may be closer then you think. :D

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Visual_Astronomer » Wed May 13, 2015 6:47 pm

Photos of the Horsehead always look so amazing - too bad it is so difficult to actually observe.
I have seen it a few times, but only with lots of aperture, H-beta filter and very dark skies.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by geckzilla » Wed May 13, 2015 7:58 pm

inertnet wrote:Can someone explain where the pink halo around the head comes from? Is that an image enhancement artifact? It doesn't seem to belong to the head, is it something in the line of sight behind the head? It doesn't seem 'natural' to me because the head has dark edges.
It is emphasized by the processing but there is indeed a glowing front along the dark pillar. The gases are energized by the light of some nearby young, massive, bright stars. I'm a little unsure at this moment whether the stars causing this ionization of gases are within or behind the dark, dusty nebula. Maybe both. We are viewing a single frame of a dynamic process that takes thousands to a few ten-thousand years to happen.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Aristaeus » Wed May 13, 2015 11:29 pm

... and in the neck of the horse stands a gray ghost with two bright orange eyes.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu May 14, 2015 12:17 am

Aristaeus wrote:... and in the neck of the horse stands a gray ghost with two bright orange eyes.
Reminds me of The Grinch, if you magnify....

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by Ann » Thu May 14, 2015 4:24 am

inertnet wrote:Can someone explain where the pink halo around the head comes from? Is that an image enhancement artifact? It doesn't seem to belong to the head, is it something in the line of sight behind the head? It doesn't seem 'natural' to me because the head has dark edges.
It is not an artifact. Other dust pillars evaporating due to strong ultraviolet light also have pink halos. Here is another example, the Dark Tower in Scorpius.

The pink halos must be due to hydrogen emission. Structures like the Horsehead Nebula and the Dark Tower contain not only dust, but also a lot of gas. As the dust "crumbles" due to the harsh ultraviolet light, the gas gets more exposed, and it starts fluorescing its typical red Ha and green Hβ light, whose combined color is pink.

The Horsehead is seen against a backdrop of hydrogen emission. But the Horsehead also has a halo of its own Ha plus Hβ emission, which makes the reddish-pink light around the Horsehead brighter than the background.

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Re: APOD: The Magnificent Horsehead Nebula (2015 May 13)

Post by ThePiper » Thu May 14, 2015 6:36 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
APOD Robot wrote:Fittingly named the Horsehead Nebula...
Or not so fittingly named. It always brings the other end to mind for me.
hh-ass.jpg
Great! :lol2: :lol2: :lol2: