Horsehead and Flame Nebula area (IC 434, NGC 2024)

clic for 36% size 1328 x 960 (230 kB)

clic here for 60% size 2214 x 1600 (547 kB)

clic for a H-alpha image in 30% size 1203 x 802 (167 kB)

clic here for a H-alpha image in 60% size 2045 x 1603 (423 kB)

About this Image

The well known Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is the dark globule near the center of this image. It is obscuring the modestly bright, extended nebula IC 434, which extends south of the bright star Zeta Orionis (one of Orion's belt stars). Note that the Horsehead is just an extrusion of a large dark nebula covering about the left half of this image, and thus extincting the light of most of the stars from behind.
Below the bright star Zeta Orionis is the bright and conspicuous emission nebula NGC 2024, also known as Flame Nebula, which is also a remarkable radio source (Orion B).
All these nebulae are part of the large Orion cloud which is centered at the Great Orion Nebula M42 and extends over several hundreds of light years and is about 1,600 light years remote.
North is left.

Technical Details


16" cassegrain in prime focus at f/3

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik Ha
Date Ha: Jan 08, 2005; RGB: Dec 23, 2006;
additional color from earlier shot with the TMB
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5.5, good transparency, temperature 0 C,
Exposure Ha:R:G:B = 60:30:30:30 min (10-minute sub-exposures)
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.0; Image calibration, aligning, mean stacking, DDP in ImagesPlus;
Photoshop: curves, unsharp mask