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DMS Latitude: 41° 32' 47.8176'' N, DMS Longitude: 72° 47' 21.2280'' W
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Horsehead and Flame Nebulae (Barnard 33 and NGC 2024)

The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula in the Orion constellation. The nebula is located just below Alnitak, the star furthest left on Orion's Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. It is approximately 1,500 light years from Earth, and is approximately 3.5 light years wide.

One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, it is part of a swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, shaped like a horse's head (hence its name), but some people also believe it looks like a lion and its mane. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered in 1888 by Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory.

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.

My first Horsehead and Flame nebulae photo.

Taken on 3/3/08

1 180-second exposure
4 30-second exposures
8 60-second exposures
ISO 800

Orion ED80
Hap Griffin Modified Canon RebelXT 350D
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS

Copyright © 2008 Antonio Pascarella

 

 

 

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