Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Dark Horse and The Pipe Nebula

Click HERE to see it at its highest resolution

Astronomers have given the dark areas in the above image two familiar names:  "Dark Horse Nebula" and "Pipe Nebula".  The first one is a side view of a "Dark Horse" with the darkest part being the rump and back leg with the fainter head and forelegs to the right.  Can you see that it has one foreleg raised as if it is prancing among the stars?  The Pipe Nebula consists of the rump of the horse as the bowl of the pipe and the rear leg makes up the pipe stem.  Click HERE to see it in high resolution.

The image below is an annotated version outlining the horse and many labels of various "dark nebulae" in and around the horse. Click HERE to see it in high resolution.  The labels starting with the letter "B" are from the Edward E. Barnard catalog of dark nebulae.  Most of the NGC numbered objects are globular clusters (NGC stands for New General Catalog).  I have also outlined some very faint red emission nebulae.  It is best to view it at high resolution on a large monitor as this is the full resolution of my CCD camera.
Click HERE to see it at its highest resolution

The image was taken with my 70-200mm f/2.8 Canon zoom lens set at 70mm and f/5.  A total of 8 images were taken with each image being 15 minutes of exposure.


  1. Wonderful image and beautiful annotation of Barnard nebulae !!
    My sons (8,10 years old) just said "This is art !!"
    Will post a link in my blog. Thank you !!

  2. In New Zealand we call this the Kiwi. In my (kiwi) view, the kiwi is way more obvious than the horse! Cheers, Robert