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IC 434

Proper NameAssociated with the Horsehead Nebula
NGC/IC NumberIC 434
ConstellationOrion
Right Ascension5h 41m 00s
Declination-2° 28' 4"
Distancec.1,550 light years
c.475 parsecs
DimensionsApparent: 1° 30' x 30'
Actual: c. 40 x 14 light years
Optimum VisibilityJanuary
NotesA long thin strand of nebulous material stretching southwards for a degree across the sky (about twice the diameter of the Moon's disc) from the region around Alnitak, the easternmost of the three stars that make up Orion's Belt.
IC 434 and the Horsehead Nebula

The bright narrow band of IC 434, running southward from Alnitak in Orion's Belt, forms the backdrop to the famous Horsehead Nebula.

A long thin nebulous region running north to south near Alnitak, the eastern star of Orion's Belt. IC 434 is far better known than its Index Catalogue number might suggest - it is the bright background nebula against which the famous dark region called the Horsehead stands out.

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