My Astronomy Website


The Horsehead Nebula


  • The Horsehead Nebula is around 1,500 light years from Earth and is located in the constellation of Orion.
  • Due to its recognizable shape the Horsehead Nebula is one of the most famous celestial objects.
  • It is categorized as a dark nebula composed mainly of hydrogen gas and high levels of dust blocking out background light.


  • The dark Horsehead Nebula is visible due to the backdrop of the bright emission nebula IC 434.
  • Both the Horsehead Nubula and IC 434 are part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, an enormous star forming region spanning hundreds of light years in diameter.
  • The Horsehead Nebula is thought to be around 3 to 4 light years tall and 2 to 3 light years across.
  • The Horsehead Nebula will eventually disperse due to ultra violet light from nearby stars evaporating its gas cloud.
  • In 2001 the Horshead Nebula was voted the favorite night sky object by amateur astronomers.
back to top