A new view shows the Horsehead Nebula in the context of its surroundings. The nebula resides in the constellation Orion, about 1300 light-years away, which makes up part of the vast Orion Molecular Cloud complex. The nebula appears to poke its horse’s head shape above the surrounding gas and dust at the far right-hand side, pointing towards the Flame Nebula. Intense radiation streaming away from newborn stars heats up the surrounding dust and gas (pink and white). To the left lie two other star formation sites, NGC 2068 and NGC 2071. Cool gas and dust networks weave throughout the scene as red and yellow filaments. Some of these may host newly forming low-mass stars.
Image: ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the “Gould Belt survey” Key Programme