APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:05 am

Image The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared

Explanation: The Blue Horsehead Nebula looks quite different in infrared light. In visible light, the reflecting dust of the nebula appears blue and shaped like a horse's head. In infrared light, however, a complex labyrinth of filaments, caverns, and cocoons of glowing dust and gas emerges, making it hard to even identify the equine icon. The featured image of the nebula was created in three infrared colors (R=22, G=12, B=4.6 microns) from data taken by NASA's orbiting Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. The nebula is cataloged as IC 4592 and spans about 40 light years, lying about 400 light years away toward the constellation Scorpius along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. IC 4592 is fainter but covers an angularly greater region than the better known Horsehead Nebula of Orion. The star that predominantly illuminates and heats the dust is Nu Scorpii, visible as the yellow star left of center.

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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by alter-ego » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:19 am

APOD Robot wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:05 am
Explanation: The Blue Horsehead Nebula looks quite different in infrared light. In visible light, the reflecting dust of the nebula appears blue and shaped like a horse's head.
It would be better if today's image was rotated 180°. The horsehead is upsidedown compared to the comparison link(s). However, having said that, the IR view is a much more defined horsehead. Less ghost-like than the visible image at the "nebula" link (and understandably so).
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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by Ann » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:41 am

alter-ego wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:19 am
APOD Robot wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:05 am
Explanation: The Blue Horsehead Nebula looks quite different in infrared light. In visible light, the reflecting dust of the nebula appears blue and shaped like a horse's head.
It would be better if today's image was rotated 180°. The horsehead is upsidedown compared to the comparison link(s). However, having said that, the IR view is a much more defined horsehead. Less ghost-like than the visible image at the "nebula" link (and understandably so).
I certainly agree about the orientation of the horsehead, less so about its visibilty in optical and infrared light.

For an infrared image, I think that today's APOD is strikingly beautiful. I guess it isn't a narrowband image, which are usually very flat and "old comic book-like" in their palette.

Today's APOD is richly and vividly colored. For myself, I also appreciate that the APOD is shown mostly in red, orange and yellow hues, which I find very fitting for an infrared image. I would be equally glad (if not more so) if, say, ultraviolet images of the Sun were shown in shades of blue and purple!

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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by JohnD » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:33 am

Wow! We had van Gogh's "Starry Night" as an APOD a while ago: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160918.html
This could have been the artists inspiration!

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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by De58te » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:09 am

Took awhile but I think I found the horse head. It's a profile looking to the right. The far right yellowish white object. You can see the lips and it is snorting a red puff out of its nostril. Ears may be pinned back the brownish spot. Just a slight problem the whitish star for the eye should have been higher up. You can even see the rider as a reddish demon with a long face leaning forward above the horse's neck as if they were running in a horse race. No apparent body to the horse though.

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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by JohnD » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:29 am

I sometimes wonder if the P in APOD stands for "Pareidolia".
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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by RJN » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:45 pm

alter-ego wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:19 am
It would be better if today's image was rotated 180°. The horsehead is upsidedown compared to the comparison link(s).
I agree, and have now rotated the image in the NASA APOD. Also, I have now corrected the text to say that Nu Scorpii is the reddened star left of center. I apologize for the "over"sight.

- RJN

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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by Sweet » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:51 am

I'd call this one the Wolf Pack Nebula had I first seen it in IR like this. Gorgeous!

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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:16 pm

JohnD wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:29 am

I sometimes wonder if the P in APOD stands for "Pareidolia".
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Re: APOD: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared (2018 Apr 23)

Post by bystander » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:54 am

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