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Horsehead and Flame Nebulae, 



    
        

            Terry Hancock

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae

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BBC Sky At Night www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/galleries/p013wxfq

Here is my final image of Barnard 33 The Horsehead Nebula, The Flame Nebula NGC 2024 and the background Nebula known as IC434 for this season.
A combination of recent data aquired with the QHY9M Mono CCD in RGB and H-Alpha and RGB data from a Canon 5D II from Nov 2010
Total Exposure time 17.5 hours

Location: Downunder Observatory, Fremont MI
Camera: QHY9M monochrome CCD cooled to -30C www.astrofactors.com
Canon 5D Mark II
Optics: Thomas M. Back TMB 92SS F5.5 APO Refractor
Mount: Paramount GT-1100S German Equatorial Mount (with MKS 4000)
Image Aquisition Maxim DL
Stacking and Calibrating: CCDStack
Registration of images in Registar
Post Processing Photoshop CS5
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Terry
Clear Skies
Terry
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Part of the Orion Molecular Cloud, an immense star forming region very close to earth, The Flame and Horsehead Nebulas offer a glimpse into the process from which stars and their planets are created. The colorfully lit areas are being irradiated by the young stars which have formed in the recent past and as a result, the ionized hydrogen in the clouds glows. The dark regions, on the other hand, are areas of dusty material in the interstellar medium dense enough to obscure the glow from behind. The Horsehead is such an object and from our vantage point on Earth, it bears a striking resemblance to the head of a horse.
The bright blue star just above The Flame Nebula is the easternmost star in Orion's belt, Alnitak, also known as Zeta Orionis. It is a "blue super-giant" and the brightest such star in the night sky.
Although it appears as a single object it is actually a triple-star (three stars in orbit around each other).
Zeta Orionis is responsible for the glow of the Flame Nebula; it glows so intensely in the ultra-violet range that even at a distance of a hundred light-years, the hydrogen in the cloud becomes ionized like neon in a sign. This radiation is also speeding the development of new stars as the pressure from the radiation further compresses the material. When the density of the material becomes great enough, gravity takes over and collapses the gas into a single object where temperature and pressure increase so dramatically that hydrogen atoms are fused into helium and a new star is born.

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Horsehead and Flame Nebulae, 



    
        

            Terry Hancock