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Contains:  IC 4592, IC 4601, The star Graffias (β1Sco), The star β2Sco, The star νSco, The star χOph, The star ψOph, The star ω1Sco, The star ω2Sco
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The Blue Horsehead Nebula Region - IC 4592 and Surroundings

Technical card

Dates:July 4, 2016

Frames: 38x120" ISO800

Integration: 1.3 hours

Darks: ~26

Bias: ~31

Avg. Moon age: 0.04 days

Avg. Moon phase: 0.00%

Mean SQM: 21.50

Mean FWHM: 4.40

Temperature: 5.80

Basic astrometry details job: 1477914

RA center: 16h 15' 2"

DEC center: -19° 23' 38"

Pixel scale: 13.161 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 166.555 degrees

Field radius: 3.954 degrees

Resolution: 1800x1200

Locations: Sítio, Cristina, MG, Brazil

Data source: Traveller


This complex lies in the constellation Scorpius along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. This is a fantastic object to be imaged, although it never rises much above the horizon for Northern imagers. Being at 22ºS, I have a particularly privileged view of this area. The star near the eye of the horse is embedded in blue reflection nebula IC 4592, over 400 light-years away. The horse's gaze seems fixed on Beta Scorpii, also named Graffias. Toward the top right, near the horse's ear, is another striking bluish reflection nebula, IC 4601. The characteristic blue hue of reflection nebulae is caused by the tendency of interstellar dust to more strongly scatter blue starlight. [Paragraph adapted from APOD and Wikipedia]

This image was a great surprise to me: despite its low integration time of less than 1.5h, it shows a great deal of dust, and, to me, is a major improvement over my previous 30min attemp. Check it out The area is just crowded with dust, and more time would have improved the SNR on the fainter regions. Perhaps next season... What do you think?

*Please check the full image 1800px - resized from original)*

Constructive criticism, comments and suggestions are more than welcome in the comments section. Thank's for taking your time to look at this image.

Taken from Rural Skies (Bortle 3-4; NELM ~6.2; SQM ~21.6*calculated), from Cristina, MG, Brazil (22ºS latitude).

Date and Time: July 4th, 2016, at 20:30h (UTC-3, start of capture)
Camera: Unmodded Canon T4i/650D, at ISO 800
Lens: Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, at 200mm, operated at f/3.5
Mount: Sky-Watcher HEQ5, tracking, controlled with EQASCOM, unguided
Exposure Detail: 38x120s (total 76min)

*Revision -B- features more star shrinking, that, although doesn't look perfect at 100%, can definitily make more nebulosity pop up on a display sized image. Which do you prefer?*



Gabriel R. Santos...
License: None (All rights reserved)



Description: Heavier star shrinking to better show the nebulosity


Description: Improved gradient/contrast correction on -B-; especially on the right half of the image; bluer color balance

Sky plot

Sky plot


The Blue Horsehead Nebula Region - IC 4592 and Surroundings, 


            Gabriel R. Santos...