seahorse nebula

The Seahorse of the Large Magellanic Cloud (Seahorse Nebula)

The seahorse is actually a pillar of smoky dust about 20 light years long residing in the Large Magellanic Cloud in a star forming region very near the expansive Tarantula Nebula.

The energetic nebula is creating a star cluster, NGC 2074, whose center is visible just off the top of the image in the direction of the neck of the seahorse.


The Magellanic Clouds are two irregular dwarf galaxies that you can see from the Southern Hemisphere with the naked eye. They’re pretty gassy and dusty compared to most galaxies (namely our own).

In the Northern Hemisphere, galaxies are hard to see with the naked eye. There are a few spiral galaxies, Andromeda being one of them, but they simply appear as fuzzy dots in the sky and aren’t very obvious unless the observer knows where to look.

Top image by Colin Legg Photography (AUS)
Bottom images: Hubble (NASA/ESA)

By far the post popular thing I’ve posted, this picture is so amazing that I wanted to try and find something better, so I found this one which shows more of the dust cloud within this nebula. The Seahorse Nebula lies within the Large Magellanic Cloud, 170,000 light years away. The length of the “Seahorse” is approximately 20 light years long, 4 times the distance from our sun to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.