Daily Archives: July 28, 2014

The Horsehead Nebula from Blue to Infrared 

Image Credit & Copyright: Optical: Aldo Mottino & Carlos Colazo, OAC, Córdoba; Infrared: Hubble Legacy Archive

 One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. 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. Light takes about 1,500 years to reach us from the Horsehead Nebula. The above image is a digital combination of images taken in blue, green, red, and hydrogen-alpha light from the Argentina, and an image taken in infrared light by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

APOD NASA 28-Jul-2014

Cocoon Nebula

IC 5146 (also Caldwell 19Sh 2-125, and the Cocoon Nebula) is a reflection/emission nebula and Caldwell object in the constellation Cygnus. The NGC description refers to IC 5146 as a cluster of 9.5 mag stars involved in a bright and dark nebula. The cluster is also known as Collinder 470. It shines at magnitude +10.0/+9.3/+7.2. Its celestial coordinates are RA 21h 53.5m, dec+47° 16′. It is located near the naked-eye star Pi Cygni, the open cluster NGC 7209 in Lacerta, and the bright open clusterM39. The cluster is about 4,000 ly away, and the central star that lights it formed about 100,000 years ago; the nebula is about 12 arcmins across, which is equivalent to a span of 15 light years. When viewing IC 5146, dark nebula Barnard 168 (B168) is an inseparable part of the experience, forming a dark lane that surrounds the cluster and projects westward forming the appearance of a trail behind the Cocoon.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: GSO RC8
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi / Kiss X2
Mounts: Sky-Watcher NEQ6
Guiding telescopes or lenses: GSO RC8
Guiding cameras: lacerta mgen2
Focal reducers: AP CCDT67
Software: DeepSkyStacker, photoshop
Accessories: Lacerta OAG
Dates: July 31, 2013
Frames: 21×600″
Integration: 3.5 hours

Author:  Philippe Mingasson
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 28 July 2014