From M42 to the Witch Head Nebula

clic for 32% size 1200 x 867 (567 kB)

clic for 50% size 1800 x 1300 (1106 kB)

About this Image

This wide view with M42/M43/NGC1977 to the left and IC2118 (Witch Head Nebula) a suggestively shaped reflection nebula in the south-western part of the constellation Orion.
Known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula glows primarily by light reflected from Rigel, the bright star in the center of this image. Fine dust in the nebulae all around of this image reflects the light, additionally some H-alpha emission gives some reddish touch to some area.
The blue color is caused not only by Rigel's blue color but because the dust grains reflect blue light more efficiently than red. IC2118 lies about 1000 light-years away.
The horizontal streaks in the center of the image are Meteor streaks from the Geminid Meteor shower!
North is up.

Technical Details


Canon 200mm EF L lens fully open at f/2.8

Mount Vixen SP GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB
Date Dec 12, 2004.
Location Weinebene 1600m/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 6.5, good transparency, temperature 0 C,
Exposure LRGB= 20:10:10:10 min (5-minute sub-exposures)
all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.0; Image calibration, aligning, mean stacking, DDP and color synthesis in ImagesPlus;
Photoshop: L channel added, curves, color balance, cropped;