Horsehead Nebula

Dark Nebula Barnard 33 in Orion

Image exposure:
57 Minutes
Image Size:
30.9 x 30.9 arc-minutes 
Image date:

The Horsehead Nebula is a region of dark nebulosity which is visible only because it is silhouetted against the bright emission nebula IC434, a star forming region, which lies beyond it. It really does resemble a horsehead!

Below it, to the left, is a bright nebula, NGC 2023.

This region lies very close to Alnitak, one of the three famous bright stars which are known as Orion’s Belt.

I wanted a sharper image than what I actually got, mainly because I was unable to capture enough frames. Maybe next time. (I say that a lot).

Four years ago I took a wider view image of this region, which shows the Horsehead, together with Alnitak and the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024). Unfortunately it has a satellite trail racing across it but it is a complex and interesting region.

2018-12-08 Horsehead Nebula Region. 61x1min
Image © Roger Powell

The Horsehead is located about 1600 light years away.

🔹 Images © Roger Powell
🔹 Esprit 120 refractor.
🔹 Focal length: 1680 mm.
🔹 EQ6-R Pro mount.
🔹 CLS-CCD dual band filter.

Location of Orion Constellation

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  1. Even with the satellite trrack, I really like that second photo. I assume the first is a crop of the second photo?

    Interestingly, when I click on the second photo, it opens in a new tab, but upsidedown.

    It also flashed a Jetpack message the first time I clicked, but I didn’t catch what it said.


    1. No, the lower shot was taken in 2018 and the featured image was taken last month with a 2X Powermate, which reduces (magnifies) the FOV.

      That 2018 image originally had the Horsehead upside-down. I rotated it using the WordPress editor for the feature image but annoyingly could not find a way of rotating it in the new enlarged tab.

      Liked by 1 person

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