Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Constellation: Orion (Ori)  ·  Contains:  Horsehead nebula  ·  IC 431  ·  IC 432  ·  IC 434  ·  IC 435  ·  NGC 2023  ·  NGC 2024  ·  The star Alnitak (ζOri)  ·  The star σOri
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The Horsehead Nebula (Take 2) - 12/19/2009, 


The Horsehead Nebula (Take 2) - 12/19/2009
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The Horsehead Nebula (Take 2) - 12/19/2009

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SV80ST

Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi

Mounts: CGEM

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Celestron 50mm Spotting Scope

Software: PHD guiding  ·  photoshop  ·  Nebulosity

Filters: Astronomik CLS Clip-Filter

Dates:Dec. 19, 2009

Frames:Astronomik CLS Clip-Filter: 17x600" ISO400 bin 1x1

Integration: 2.8 hours

Avg. Moon age: 2.71 days

Avg. Moon phase: 8.09%

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 100677

RA center: 5h 40' 44"

DEC center: -2° 13' 37"

Pixel scale: 4.743 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 84.171 degrees

Field radius: 1.492 degrees

Resolution: 620x388


This single picture is comprised of 4 of the elements in the famous Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The complex is enormous, spreading from Orion's belt to the tip of his sword. The entire complex resides some 1,500 light years distant and is one of the most active star forming regions in the Milky Way The objects you can see in this picture are as follows:

Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33): This nebula takes its name from the distinct gray/black horsehead shape you can see near the center of the image. The horsehead nebula is comprised of extremely densely packed dust. So much so that it is capable of blocking 100% of the light emitting from the very bright emission nebula sitting behind it (IC 434).

Emission Nebula (IC434): This is the red ribbon like nebula running through the horsehead. It is an emission nebula (as deduced by its red color) and it is ionized by the nearby Alnitak star (the leftmost star in Orion's belt). Ionized hydrogen emits light seen in red spectrum.

Flame Nebula (NGC2024): This nebula gets its name from its obvious resemblance to a flame. Located in the bottom left side of the image, the Flame Nebula is an emission nebula also ionized by the nearby Alnitak star.

Reflection Nebula (NGC2023): This nebula can be seen directly below and to the left of the horsehead nebula. It appears as a small fuzzy blue blob with the energizing star (HD 37903 - B Star) distinctly behind it. Reflection nebulae generally occur when the energizing star is not close enough to actually knock electrons out of the hydrogen gas (preventing full ionization). Instead this light is reflected and is seen in the blue spectrum. This nebula is a mere 4 light years across.


Sky plot

Sky plot


The Horsehead Nebula (Take 2) - 12/19/2009,