The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by astronomer William Flemingon photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which bears some resemblance to a horse’s head when viewed from Earth.”
This image is a composite of 37 Luminance images for a total imaging time of 4.1 hours. These sub exposures were taken on the Takahashi FSQ 106 that is located at the Rowe, NM location. The images were stacked and processed in Maxim DL, Pixinsight, and Photoshop.
It is a now a good time to image and visually observe the Orion Nebula since it can now be found in the Eastern sky. For those with binoculars, Orion is an easy target. The Horsehead Nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is the star that is farthest east on Orion’s Belt. I have always been fascinated by this one, but alas it is rare to run into anyone who has actually visually observed this nebula through the eyepiece of an amateur scope. So far I have taken about 16 half hour exposures (8 hours)through 3nm H-Alpha and OIII filters made by Astrodon. The scope is an Astro-Physics 130mm refractor. The camera is a QSI 690wsg camera with an eight position filter wheel. The camera chip is cooled to -10 degrees Centigrade. The photo was processed with Maxim DL, Photoshop CS6, and Pixinsight.
This is a composite of 11 thirty minute H-Alpha images.