Horsehead nebula

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Horsehead Nebula,

dark nebulanebula
[Lat.,=mist], in astronomy, observed manifestation of a collection of highly rarefied gas and dust in interstellar space. Prior to the 1960s this term was also applied to bodies later discovered to be galaxies, e.g.
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 located in the constellation Orion; designated IC 434 or B 33. It consists of a cloud of nonluminous interstellar matterinterstellar matter,
matter in a galaxy between the stars, known also as the interstellar medium. Distribution of Interstellar Matter

Compared to the size of an entire galaxy, stars are virtually points, so that the region occupied by the interstellar matter
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 resembling the outline of a horse's head and appears against the background of a bright emission nebula. The Horsehead Nebula measures about 4 min of arc at its greatest width. It is located near the belt of Orion at a distance of about 1,600 light-years from the earth.

Horsehead nebula

(IC 434) A dark nebula in Orion located near the star Zeta (ζ) Orionis. It is seen as a dark distinctively shaped region silhouetted against the bright background of an emission (H II) nebula.

Horsehead Nebula

[′hȯrs‚hed ′neb·yə·lə]
A cloud of obscuring particles between the earth and a gaseous emission nebula in the constellation Orion.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The famous Horse-head Nebula is seen here silhouetted in majestic glory against the red glow of the emission nebula IC 434.
This 2-arcminute inkblot stands silhouetted against the faint emission nebula IC 434, a half degree south of bright Zeta (z) Orionis.
Swinging the scope northward revealed the Horsehead Nebula as a dark hook projecting into the subtle background glow of IC 434.
They are also key reference points for locating the rim of the long, dim nebula IC 434 and the dark Horsehead Nebula intruding across it.
IC 434 is known mainly for its association with the dark, thumbprint Barnard 33, the famous Horsehead Nebula.
Some expected notes do not appear -- for example, the bright nebula IC 434 is best known for being overlaid by Barnard 33, the Horsehead nebula, but there is no mention of this under IC 434.