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Stars and stellar evolution
Horsehead Nebula

Horsehead Nebula, also known as Barnard 33


A dark nebula, also called an absorption nebula. The nebula was first identified and recorded in 1888 by Williamina Fleming at the Harvard College Observatory.


The nebula is found in the constellation Orion, in the Northern Hemisphere.

Distance from Earth

1,500 light-years


Between 2 and 3 light-years across

The Horsehead Nebula is shown in the visible-light image (from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory) at left and in Hubble's near-infrared image at right.

Enlarge Image


"Fast Facts: Horsehead Nebula" is a table that listsĀ  the name, location, size, and distance of the nebula from Earth. A picture of the nebula is included.

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Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A mapping activity. Locate the nebula's associated constellation on a star map.

A large-number recognition activity. Have students look at several Fast Fact tables, including this one. Ask them to place the objects described in the Fast Fact tables in order, starting with the object closest to Earth and ending with the one farthest away.

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.

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