Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Contains:  48 sig Ori  ·  50 zet Ori  ·  Alnitak  ·  B33  ·  Horsehead nebula  ·  IC 431  ·  IC 432  ·  IC 434  ·  IC 435  ·  IC431  ·  IC432  ·  IC434  ·  IC435  ·  NGC 2023  ·  NGC 2024  ·  NGC2023  ·  NGC2024  ·  Orion  ·  Sh2-277  ·  The star Alnitak (ζOri)  ·  The star σOri  ·  VdB51
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
The horsehead nebula (B33) and it's surroundings, 


            Sven Hoffmann
Powered byPixInsight

The horsehead nebula (B33) and it's surroundings

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED Super APO Triplet

Imaging cameras: SBIG STT 8300M  ·  ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: SkyWatcher AZ-EQ5 GT

Guiding telescopes or lenses: SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED Super APO Triplet

Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY5L-IIm

Software: Pleaides Astrophoto PixInsight 1.8 Ripley  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  Photoshop CC  ·  Straton  ·  Astro Pixel Processor

Filters: Baader 7nm Ha  ·  B  ·  G  ·  R

Accessory: Lacerta Motorfokus  ·  OAG  ·  ZWO EFW 8x 1.25"  ·  Skywatcher Field Flattener for Esprit 100

Dates:Feb. 17, 2019Feb. 23, 2019Feb. 25, 2019Feb. 27, 2019

Baader 7nm Ha: 177x180" (gain: 139.00) -30C bin 1x1
B: 136x60" (gain: 76.00) -30C bin 1x1
G: 134x60" (gain: 76.00) -30C bin 1x1
R: 139x60" (gain: 76.00) -30C bin 1x1

Integration: 15.7 hours

Darks: ~32

Flats: ~16

Flat darks: ~16

Avg. Moon age: 18.91 days

Avg. Moon phase: 68.37%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Mean FWHM: 3.00

Temperature: 5.00

Astrometry.net job: 2580749

RA center: 5h 40' 54"

DEC center: -2° 12' 43"

Pixel scale: 1.411 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -92.270 degrees

Field radius: 1.041 degrees

Resolution: 4308x3113

Data source: Backyard


I cannot fathom that I never took a photo of this iconic object before. Three years into this hobby I only took some HA of it so far. So this winter I thought that it's time. I knew about the challenges but I was prepared :)
The most challenging aspect is obviously keeping Alnitak in check. I did this by utilizing data from another camera type and mixed it 50/50 with the ASI data so the diffraction effects would be reduced a bit. The halo from my Baader blue filter is also pretty massive and also caused me some problems trying to reduce.
Adding a ton of HA data really helped me bring out the details though. All in all I think this is an insanely pretty region of space.
I recently read that the horsehead is 3 lightyears high. Imagine just this fact. A particle of light will need three years (!) to travel from the horseheads top to it's bottom. Fascinating!

Edit: I just finally found out where I got the 8300 sensor data from. It was from DSW public data. I downloaded it some time ago and couldn't figure out where I got it from until I compared the file sizes with a fresh download just now. So to be 100% transparent here: The 16h of my data I combined with 90m of R, G, B data from DSW to tame the Alnitak reflections from the ASI. Still credit is due: Some (~33%) of the color data is: "Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com)"



Sven Hoffmann
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


The horsehead nebula (B33) and it's surroundings, 


            Sven Hoffmann