It is called Horsehead Nebula and as you can tell it is a nebula in the shape of a horse to be found in Orion. The official name is Barnard 33 and it is accumulation of dust particles from the southern region of the nebula Lynds 1630. The distance between the cloud and planet earth is estimated to be 1400 light years.
The first photo of the nebula goes back to 1888, taken at the Harvard College Observatory.
The light from the Horsehead Nebula takes roughly 1500 light years to reach earth.