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APOD: 2023 September 26 IC 4592: The Blue Horsehead Reflection Nebula
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APOD: 2023 September 26  IC 4592: The Blue Horsehead Reflection Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Antoine & Dalia Grelin
Explanation: Do you see the horse's head? What you are seeing is not the famous Horsehead nebula toward Orion, but rather a fainter nebula that only takes on a familiar form with deeper imaging. The main part of the here-imaged molecular cloud complex is reflection nebula IC 4592. Reflection nebulas are made up of very fine dust that normally appears dark but can look quite blue when reflecting the visible light of energetic nearby stars. In this case, the source of much of the reflected light is a star at the eye of the horse. That star is part of Nu Scorpii, one of the brighter star systems toward the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius). A second reflection nebula dubbed IC 4601 is visible surrounding two stars above and to the right of the image center.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: reflection nebula
Publications with words: reflection nebula
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