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Hubble's infrared view of the Horsehead Nebula

Image: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Hubble's infrared image transforms the dark nebula into a softly glowing landscape. It reveals much more structure and detail in the clouds. The cloud itself glows from the infrared light it emits. In this infrared view, the nebula is more transparent compared to the visible-light view. Background stars and some galaxies shine through the nebula's thinner regions. The blue color around the nebula's "head" is caused by light from the giant star Sigma Orionis, located outside the boundaries of this image. (See "Horsehead Nebula and its surroundings" to view the giant star Sigma Orionis.)