NGC 2023

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NGC 2023
reflection nebula
emission nebula
Sunset Glow in Orion.jpg
NGC 2023 picture created from multiple images taken with the Wide Field Camera of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Observation data: J2000 epoch
Right ascension 05h 41m 37.9s[1]
Declination −02° 15′ 52″
Distance 1467.7 ly   (450 pc)
Apparent dimensions (V) 10′x10′
Constellation Orion
Designations NGC 2023, LBN 954, VDB 52, [XT95] 6, GN 05.39.1.02, RAFGL 806, [NYS99] C-23, IRAS 05391-0217, RX J0541.8-0217, [RK68] 38
See also: Lists of nebulae

NGC 2023 (also known as LBN 954) is a reflection nebula located in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).

At infrared wavelengths, is a heavy source of fluorescent molecular hydrogen emission,[2] and at 4 light-years wide, it is one of the largest in the sky. It is powered by an extremely hot B-type star (B1.5), called HD 37903, the most luminous member of a cluster of young Herbig–Haro objects that illuminate the outermost material in the Lynds 1630 molecular cloud (Barnard 33) in Orion B.

NGC 2023 forms a cavity in the surface of the cloud, some 450 parsecs from Earth. It produces a bright visual reflection nebula and an ultraviolet-excited photodissociation region. It is about a third of a degree from the Horsehead Nebula [3] and is often included (but not labeled) in images of that object.

Additionally, one of the defining features of NGC 2023 — the overtly bright streak often seen in the upper-left hand corner — is not a true feature. Instead, the flare is an artifact generated by Hubble’s optics.[4]

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Coordinates: Sky map 05h 41m 37.9s, −02° 15′ 52″