Aww, how cute! What an adorable little… nebula?
Although here it may look like it could fit in your hand, the Horsehead Nebula is obviously quite a bit larger – about 1.5 light-years across from “nose” to “mane.” But given a tilt-shift effect by Imgur.com user ScienceLlama, the entire structure takes on the appearance of something tiny — based purely on our eyes’ natural depth-of-field when peering at a small object close up. Usually done with Photoshop filters these days, it’s a gimmick, yes… but it works!
The original image was captured in infrared light by the Hubble Space Telescope and released in April 2013, in celebration of its 23rd anniversary.
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Check out more of ScienceLlama’s “tiny universe” images below:
See these and more on ScienceLlama’s Imgur page here, and follow Science Llama on Twitter here.
ADDITION 12/17: Several of these images (like this one) were originally processed by Robert Gendler from Hubble-acquired data, but the attribution was not noted by ScienceLlama. I apologize for the oversight — see more of Robert’s beautiful astrophotography on his website here. Another original source was Adam Block of the Mount Lemmon Sky Center.