Horsehead Nebula and NGC 2023

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About this Image

The well known Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is the dark globule right of 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 the lower part of this image, and thus extincting the light of most of the stars from behind.
The bright blue nebula left of the Horsehead is the remarkable reflection nebula NGC 2023, which must also lie in front of the dark nebula.
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 at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik LRGB + Ha
Date Dec 30, 2005.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5 sky, temperature -5 C,
Exposure RGB= 60:60:60 min (all 10-minute sub-exposures, all 2x2 bin)
60 min 1x1 Ha blended from a previous image taken at f/3
Processing Image aquisition and calibration, aligning, stacking, in Maxim DL 4.11;
Photoshop: Ha channel added at 30%; color balance