Herschel and Hubble see the Horsehead Nebula in new light
New views of the Horsehead Nebula and its turbulent environment have been unveiled by ESA's Herschel space observatory and the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope. The Horsehead Nebula lies in the constellation Orion, about 1300 light-years away, and is a popular target for amateur and professional astronomers alike. It sits just to the south of star Alnitak, the easternmost of Orion's famous three-star belt, and is part of the vast Orion Molecular Cloud complex. The new far-infrared Herschel view shows in spectacular detail the scene playing out around the Horsehead Nebula. This star-forming region appears obscured by dark dust lanes in visible light images, but blazes in full glory in the far-infrared Herschel view.
Herschel's view of the Horsehead Nebula in the context of its surroundings. The image is a composite of the wavelengths of 70 microns (blue), 160 microns (green) and 250 microns (red), and covers 4.5 x 1.5 degrees. Copyright ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the "Gould Belt survey" Key Programme
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"What determines the density structure of molecular clouds? A case study of Orion B with Herschel", N. Schneider et al., is published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, 766, L17, April 2013.