The Details
The Horsehead Nebula in Orion
12.5" RCOS Ritchey-Chretien at f/6.9
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance LRGB filter set
10 March 2005
Red Cloud Road, Eastern Riverside County CA
L 5 x 600 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 3 x 300 sec, 2x2 bin
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop CS, Neat Image 4.4 Pro+
Field of View: 23 ’33" x 15’52" centered on RA 05h41m00s
DEC -02°27’11” (2000.0). North angle 272.5°; east 90° CCW from north

Along with other universally recognized images made famous by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Horsehead Nebula is an icon of deep sky objects. Due to its extreme faintness, this object eluded detection by visual observers, not being discovered until 1889 when Professor Edward C. Pickering of the Harvard Observatory imaged it on a photographic plate. Lying at a distance of about 1500 light years from earth, the dark, dust laden molecular cloud that outlines the shape of the Horsehead, also known as Barnard 33, is positioned in front of the relatively bright reflection nebula IC 434. Intense UV radiation from nearby star Sigma Orionis, the easternmost of the three bright stars in Orion's belt, is ionizing the hydrogen in the nebula and creating the beautiful red background of this object. In contrast to IC 434, reflection nebula NGC 2023 can be seen in the lower left corner, illuminating space with its beautiful blue color.

This image was the result of a collaborative effort between Dave Jurasevich and David Held , sharing data acquisition and processing tasks.




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