The Horsehead Nebula in Hydrogen Alpha

Horsehead Nebula in H alpha
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here or on image for a higher resolution view of this region.

Magnitude:  Unknown
Distance: 1600 light years (Horsehead Nebula, aka B33); 826 light years (Alnitak- Zeta Orionis); 1165 light years (Sigma Orionis)
RA: 5h 41m 19s
Dec: -02 degrees 25' 56"

This famous region within the constellation of Orion, The Hunter is filled with opaque dust as well as ionized hydrogen gas that emits at wavelength 656.3 nm.  The above image shows the Horsehead nebula to the right of center, the Flame nebula in the upper left, next to the bright star Alnitak.  Here is a large mosaic that I constructed from DSS data, showing the Horsehead Nebula within the neighborhood of other famous targets like M42 and M78.  Please click here for a larger image, and here for more details regarding this interesting region.

Photographic Details:

Date:  December 2, 2006.
Scope:  Takahashi FSQ106, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  Maxcam CM10
Astronomik Ha (6 nm) filter.  Diffraction spikes were created using kite string in front of the objective.
Exposures:  23 x 10' Ha
Conditions:  Clear, cold, and a little breezy- temperatures down to about 35 degrees F during the night.
Debloomed, calibrated, aligned in Maxim.  Combined using RC Sigma Reject MaximDL, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Subsequent processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

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