Tag: Horsehead Nebula
When I first started learning about astronomy, there were three deep space objects that really captivated my attention: The Andromeda Galaxy, The Orion Nebula and the Horse Head Nebula. As time passes and I come back to these targets I appreciate things about them I never knew or noticed before. After getting involved with horses this year I started thinking about the Horse Head Nebula again and wanting to image it. Its not visible in the summer, but this past November, as soon as the conditions and time were right, I started working on it. I just finished up last week. Over 38 hours of exposure time through 7 different channels on more than 20 different nights contributed to this final picture below. Its a combination of light data collected through narrow band (Ha, Oii & Siii), RGB (Red, Green & Blue) and Luminance (clear) filters.
Image Details for The Horse Head Nebula
Narrow Band Ha, Oii, Siii: 7.6 hours each
RGB: 3 hours each
Luminance: 6 hours
Total exposure: 7.6 + 7.6 + 7.6 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 6 = 37.8 hours!
Camera: Apogee U16M
Guider: SBIG 402 with MMOAG Off Axis Guider
Telescope: RCOS 14.5
Mount: Paramount ME
Location: Auberry, CA
Date: Over 20 nights from November through December
Software: The SkyX, MaximDL, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, Photoshop
The Horsehead Nebula is found on the left side of Orion’s Belt, near the star Alnitak. It is difficult to see with the naked eye through a telescope, but on a long exposure it can be a remarkable sight.
William Optics FLT 98 / CGEM Mount
Canon 20Da Camera
SBIG STV Autoguider
20×5 minute ISO 400 exposures
Deep Sky Stacker
Here is the first picture of the horse head nebula I’ve taken that is decent enough to post. This object is one of the first things I wanted to image when I started astrophotography. About a year after starting I am just now getting good enough to catch a mediocre picture of it. This image would have looked a lot nicer if I had taken better flats. It seems the stacking process dimmed the red color and also distorted the nebula a bit by adding lines/noise to the image. Despite its problems, I’m still pretty happy with it considering its the first success for the horse head. This picture represents 10×5 minute exposures stacked with flats and darks in DSS.