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Canon 40D baader modified

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion[1]. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is furthest east on Orion's Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which is similar to that of a horse's head when viewed from Earth. The shape was first noticed in 1888 by Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory

The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula's base are young stars just in the process of forming

The above text is taken from Wikipedia.

The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south[b] of Orion's Belt. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years[2][5] and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. Older texts frequently referred to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.

The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features.[6] The nebula has revealed much about the process of how stars and planetary systems are formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers have directly observed protoplanetary disks, brown dwarfs, intense and turbulent motions of the gas, and the photo-ionizing effects of massive nearby stars in the nebula. There are also supersonic "bullets" of gas piercing the dense hydrogen clouds of the Orion Nebula. Each bullet is ten times the diameter of Pluto's orbit and tipped with iron atoms glowing bright blue. They were probably formed one thousand years ago from an unknown violent event

The above text is taken from Wikipedia.

This image is plagued with problems. In order to get good integration time I had to use all images, also those with fairly severe star trailing. I had to apply a fair amount of noise reduction in order to bring out the faint stuff and I had problems with the colour balancing (there is no real black point present). Compared with other images on the net my image is a little bit too orange, but this is the best I managed to do, without destroying the blues.

An enlarged (50% of original) can be viewed here.

 The following software has been used. MaximDL (image acquisition and guiding), CCDStack (calibration and de-convolution), PixInsight (cropping, background correction, colour corrections) and Photoshop CS5 (all the rest, incl Noel Carbonis Astronomy Tools).

This image was processed in January 2011



Canon 200mm at F2.8

MOUNT:  Astrotrac

30x30s + 46x60s + 118x120s + 34x180s = 6hr 40min



Astronomik CLS clip in







CALIBRATION: 32 Darks/32 Flats

Nov 21 -24, 2008

LOCATION: Älta, Sweden







Copyright: All images © 2008 Matts Sporre. All Rights Reserved