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B33 (Horsehead Nebula)   [obsolete]

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: Celestron/Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector (MPCC)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 7 x 5min @ ISO 800
Total Exposure: 0hrs, 35min
Date: 12/18/2004, 2:47am PST (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat field, registration, normalized Kappa-Sigma stacking, background fit, cropping
  • Photoshop: Levels, image size, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is B33, the famous Horsehead Nebula, in the constellation of Orion. The very bright star in the middle-left of the frame is Alnitak, which is the "leftmost" (Eastern) belt star in the constellation of Orion. The nebula just below and to the left of Alnitak is NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula. To the right of the Flame is the reflection nebula NGC 2023. The reddish emission nebula seen streaming out of Alnitak to the right (South) in this picture is IC 434. The Horsehead Nebula itself is a dark cloud "between" us and IC 434 which blocks some of the light coming from IC 434. This is my first attempt at this object, and this picture needs much more exposure time (perhaps as much as 4x). But I got such a late start that it set behind my neighbor's house after only 35min total exposure. Probably a good thing. <grin> North is to the left in this picture; West is up.