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June 9, 2014 - A Horsehead of a Different Color

A Horsehead of a Different Color Rising from a sea of dust and gas like a giant seahorse, the Horsehead nebula is one of the most photographed objects in the sky. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took a close-up look at this heavenly icon, revealing the cloud’s intricate structure. Its unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. Unlike optical light images of the Horsehead Nebula, which appear dark and shadowy, Hubble’s infrared view is rich with detail and appears almost transparent against the backdrop of the Milky Way. The image was taken using the Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed on the observatory in 2009. Located about 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Orion, the towering Horsehead nebula is a cocoon in which new stars are being born.

Image credit: NASA / NOAO / ESA / The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Weekly Calendar

June 9-15, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 9

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

Moon phase Tuesday 10

Neptune appears stationary
Saturn 0.6° north of Moon


1985: Vega 1 deploys lander and balloon on Venus
2003: Mars rover Spirit launched

Moon phase Wednesday 11

2008: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched
2013: Shenzhou 10 launched, China's fifth human spaceflight mission

Moon phase Thursday 12

1967: Venera 4 launched

Moon phase Friday 13

Full Moon 12:11 AM ET

1831: James Clerk Maxwell born
1974: National Space Society founded
1983: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system, begins traveling in interstellar space
2010: Hayabusa spacecraft returns first asteroid samples to Earth
2012: NuSTAR X-Ray telescope launched

Moon phase Saturday 14

Flag Day

Moon at perigee

1967: Mariner 5 launched
1975: Venera 10 launched
1985: Vega 2 deploys lander and balloon on Venus

Moon phase Sunday 15

Father's Day
Trinity Sunday

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch
2010: Soyuz TMA-19 launched carrying ISS Expedition 24/25 crew

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.