Horsehead and Flame Nebula (IC 434, NGC 2024)

clic for 30% size 1086 x 746 (190 kB)

clic here for 50% size 1780 x 1243 (380 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.
The bright blueish nebula close and left of the Horsehead in this image is the reflection nebula NGC 2023, which must also lie in front of the dark nebula. Left of 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 up. The above image is a pure LRGB version.

Below you see a crop on the center of the Nebulae in 35/70% size.

Even below is a reprocessed crop on NGC2023 in 100% size.

clic for 70% size 1350 x 1342 (300 kB)

Technical Details


105mm TMB refractor with flattener at f/6.5

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB
Date Nov 22, 2004.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5.5, good transparency, temperature 0 C,
Exposure LRGB= 30:30:30:30 min (all 10-minute sub-exposures)
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.0; Image calibration, aligning, mean stacking, DDP and color synthesis in ImagesPlus;
Photoshop: L channel added at 50%; cropped; color balance