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Contains:  IC 435, NGC 2024, NGC 2023, Horsehead nebula, IC 434, IC 432, IC 431, The star Alnitak (ζOri)
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The Flame and Horsehead, 


            Gabe Shaughnessy
The Flame and Horsehead

The Flame and Horsehead

Technical card

Resolution: 3005x2225

Dates:Dec. 2, 2017Feb. 11, 2018

Ha 3nm: 19x900" bin 1x1
Astrodon LRGB CCD Imaging Filters (E-Series), Gen2: 36x300" bin 1x1

Integration: 7.8 hours

Avg. Moon age: 19.49 days

Avg. Moon phase: 57.33% job: 1927202

RA center: 85.267 degrees

DEC center: -2.162 degrees

Pixel scale: 1.875 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 95.496 degrees

Field radius: 0.974 degrees

Data source: Backyard


The Flame and Horsehead nebulae lie in the constellation Orion some 1500 light years away. The Flame nebula is near Alnitak, the easternmost star in Orion's belt, and is the brightest star in this image. Alnitak shines intense UV light into the Flame nebula, which excites the hydrogen gas clouds, producing the glow. Veins of dark dust and gas lie in front of the nebula giving the nebula an appearance of a flame.

The Horsehead nebula is a dark nebula of gas and dust that is silhouetted against the background H-alpha emission nebula. The glowing gas is energized by nearby star Sigma Orionis. Strong magnetic fields form streams of ionized Hydrogen gas that are visible above the Horsehead.

Both the Flame and Horsehead are a small part of a larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which stretches from north of the belt of Orion to the sword near the Great Orion Nebula. This complex is a gigantic stellar nursery and is several hundred light years across.



Gabe Shaughnessy
License: Attribution-NonCommercial Creative Commons

Sky plot

Sky plot


The Flame and Horsehead, 


            Gabe Shaughnessy