Daily Archives: December 26, 2014

The Horsehead Nebula, IC 434

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. 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 bears some resemblance to a horse’s head when viewed from Earth.

The dark cloud of dust and gas is a region in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex where star formation is taking place. This stellar nursery, as it is known, can contain over 100 known organic and inorganic gases as well as dust consisting of large and complex organic molecules.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: TS APO80
Imaging cameras: QSI 660wsg-8
Mounts: Orion HDX110 EQ-G
Guiding telescopes or lenses: TS APO80
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Loadestar X2
Focal reducers: TS Optics TS Flat 2
Software: Cyanogen Maxim DL 6 Pro, Pixinsight 1.8
Filters: Astrodon Ha 5nm, Astrodon LRGB
Resolution: 1881×1497
Dates: Nov. 23, 2014, Dec. 12, 2014
Astrodon Ha 5nm: 23×900″
Astrodon LRGB: 70×300″ -30C
Integration: 11.6 hours
Avg. Moon age: 10.19 days
Avg. Moon phase: 36.66%
RA center: 85.292 degrees
DEC center: -2.188 degrees
Orientation: 87.220 degrees
Field radius: 0.937 degrees
Locations: Home observatory, Tbilisi, Georgia

Author: David Dvali