CFHT,Current Image of the Week


November 8th, 1999

The Horsehead Nebula

Each week, discover a new spectacular image obtained at CFHT. Browse the archive

The Horsehead Nebula
Credit: Image courtesy of Dr. Jean-Charles Cuillandre, CFHT.

The Horsehead nebula (also known as Barnard 33) is an extension of another large dark nebula made of gas and dust. It blocks the background light from stars located in our own Galaxy, as well as the light from distant galaxies (the small ellipses on the image). Behind "The Horsehead" lies another nebula, that is seen in emission, IC 434. It appears on this image as the cloudy structure behind "The Horsehead". Barnard 33 is part of the Orion molecular cloud, a large high-mass star formation complex that includes the great Orion Nebula (Messier 42). It is distant of about 1,500 light years from us. The field on this image extends over 8 light years.

Technical description: This image was taken with the CFH12K Camera installed at the telescope prime focus. This color composite image was made from a 9 minute V exposure (wavelength = 550nm) and a 20 minute I exposure (wavelength = 814nm).

next week: The interacting galaxy systems NGC 2207/IC 2163

editors: François Ménard & Jean-Charles Cuillandre
[] & []

Copyright © 1999 by CFHT. All rights Reserved.

CFHT is funded by the Governments of Canada and France, and by the University of Hawaii.