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Contains:  Witch Head nebula, IC 2118, The star Cursa (βEri), The star ψEri
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Witchhead Nebulae IC-2118, 


            Ronny Kaplanian
Witchhead Nebulae IC-2118

Technical card

Resolution: 2442x1617

Dates:Feb. 13, 2019

Frames: 42x900"

Integration: 10.5 hours

Avg. Moon age: 7.95 days

Avg. Moon phase: 56.01% job: 2522526

RA center: 5h 5' 33"

DEC center: -7° 8' 31"

Pixel scale: 5.629 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 219.938 degrees

Field radius: 2.290

Locations: Home Backyard, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Data source: Backyard


The power of a Star

At one point in time this dust cloud that resembles a Witchhead looking upwards was actually a star, blown up thousands of years ago, all its dust and debris scattered across the vastness of space. This nebula contains a huge amount of carbon monoxide and other gases too. The colour is caused not only by blue colour of its star (Rigel), but also because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. A similar physical process causes Earth's daytime sky to appear blue.

What is really interesting here is the Blue giant star Rigel (The foot of Orion) with its intense heat is lighting up this cloud thus making it glow and reflecting light into space. Rigel is an Arabic name meaning (Foot), which is the foot of Orion the hunter. Most stars were named by the Arabs millennia ago. A time when Europe was in chaos, turmoil and War, The Arabs thrived and grew into knowledge, prosperity and wisdom.

This is the faintest object ever taken by my Telescope, the most challenging and difficult to process. Each exposure took 15 minutes, the total time of exposures was 11 hours over 4 nights.

Spooky as it looks, The Witchhead nebulae is brilliant and overwhelming in beauty and wonder.



Ronny Kaplanian
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


Witchhead Nebulae IC-2118, 


            Ronny Kaplanian