Science and Tech Features
10 Incredible Hubble Telescope Images - And the Science Behind Them

CJ Miozzi | 5 Mar 2014 17:00
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horsehead

Next, we visit the Horsehead Nebula, which appears dark and shadowy in visible light, like an ebon knight on a cosmic chess board. However, when viewed in infrared as in this image, we observe a far more detailed and Giger-esque picture painted against a backdrop of distant galaxies and the stars of the Milky Way.

UV light is blasting in from above and has eroded the surrounding gas clouds, but the ridge of this horse's head has a greater density of material - hydrogen and helium laced with dust, in this case - which makes it more resistant to the weathering effect. Like an umbrella, this ridge protects the material below it from the incoming light.

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