HORSE HEAD NEBULA

The Horse Head Nebula is in Orion, just south of the left-most "belt star."   Here's a wide angle shot of the constellation Orion, showing the "belt" and "sword" stars.

Let's zoom in on the belt star region.

This black and white image is a 2.7x zoom, showingonly  the "belt" and "sword" stars. Notice the nebulosity to the left of the left-most belt star.  This isn't the Horse Head Nebula, but it's close by. [SBIG ST-8E CCD, Nikon telephoto lens, 70 mm FL, f/5.6; 2002.04.02; mountain site north of Santa Barbara, CA, 3400 feet ASL]

This 3x zoom shows the nebulosity to the left of the left-most belt star.  Look below that star, and you'll see a faint outline of the Horse Head Nebula.  [SBIG ST-8E CCD, Nikon telephoto lens, 290 mm FL, f/6.3; 2002.04.02; mountain site north of Santa Barbara, CA, 3400 feet ASL]

Zoom factor of 3.1, FOV = 68x45 'arc. This red nebulosity west of the horsehead featuer is due to hydrogen gas (ionized by nearby stars) when electrons go from larger to smaller orbits (the so-called H-alpha line at 656 nanometers wavelength).  The horse head feature is caused by a dust cloud in front of the reddish emission gas nebula. The blue nebulosity is reflected starlight from hot blue stars in the region. [Celestron 14-inch SCT, prime focus, f/1.9; RGBL, total exposure = 6, 6, 6 & 3 min; gamma enhancement; SBIG ST-8XE CCD, CFW8, HyperStar; 2003.11.05, Hereford, AZ]

     

Left: Zoom 2 and rotated (to conform to the conventional presentation of this object). [Meade LX200 10-inch SCT, SBIG ST-8XE CCD, unfiltered, 48 1-minute exposures, digital development enhanced, Sierra Vista residence, 2002.12.12 & 13 UT]  Right: Detail of above color image (rotated).

 [Meade LX200 10-inch SCT, SBIG ST-8XE CCD, True Tech color filter wheel, LRGB exposures 48, 24, 58 and 71 min; residence near Sierra Vista, AZ; 2002.12.12-15Z]

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This site opened:  November 15, 2001 Last Update:  November 5, 2003