Dark Horse (astronomy)

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This article is about the large dark nebula in Ophiuchus. For Barnard 33 (the dark nebula in the constellation Orion), see Horsehead Nebula.
Dark Horse Nebula
dark nebula
GreatDarkHorse Nebulae.jpg
Dark Horse Nebula
Observation data: J2000.0 epoch
Right ascension 17h 21m
Declination −21° 07′
Distance ?? ly
Apparent magnitude (V)
Apparent dimensions (V) ??
Constellation Ophiuchus
Physical characteristics
Radius ?? ly
Absolute magnitude (V)
Notable features
Designations Great Dark Horse
See also: Lists of nebulae

The Dark Horse Nebula or Great Dark Horse is a large dark nebula,[1] which as seen from Earth, obscures part of the upper central bulge of the Milky Way. The Dark Horse lies in the equatorial constellation Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer), near its borders with the more famous constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius. It is a significant, visible feature of the Milky Way's Great Rift.

Name[edit]

This region of dark nebulae is called Dark Horse because it resembles the side silhouette of a horse and appears dark as compared with the background glow of stars and star clouds. It is also known as "Great" because it is one of the largest (in apparent size) groups of dark nebulae in the sky.

Nearby Nebulae[edit]

The rear of The Great Dark Horse (its rump and hind legs), is also known as the Pipe Nebula,[2] which itself carries the designation B77, B78, and B59. (The 'B' numbers named after the astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard,[1] who catalogued dark nebulae.) The Snake Nebula extends from the Dark Horse to the Rho Ophiuchus nebulosity.[3]

The ability to see The Great Dark Horse with the naked eyes is an indication that the skies are very dark, i.e. not affected by (urban and industrial) light pollution.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Martinez, Tom J. "The Dark Horse and The Pipe Nebula". tomjmartinez.blogspot.com. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Ludriguss, Jerry. "Catching the Light". www.astropix.com. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Images taken with RFO's robotic (CCD) telescope". rfo.org. Retrieved 18 November 2012.