The Horsehead Nebula

Object: Barnard 33,  IC434,  The Horsehead Nebula

Description: One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. 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. Light takes about 1,500 years to reach us from the Horsehead Nebula.


Rights Statement: Copyright, Julio Encarnacion, 2022.

Acquisition Dates: February 2nd and 3rd, 2022

Date Published: March 14, 2022

Location: Driveway, Land o Lakes, Florida

Optics: Sky-Watcher Evostar 120ED

Mount: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro

Camera: ZWO ASI-2600MM Pro (mono)

Filters: Astrodon Ha (5nm), Chroma LRGB

Guiding: ZWO ASI120MM Mini (mono)

Gain: 120 for narrowband, 100 for broadband

Cooling: -14F

Integration: Total: 8 hours and 11 minutes; Ha – 6 hours and 11 minutes; LRGB – 2 hours

Software: Mount Control, Guiding, Polar Alignment, Acquisition: ZWO ASIAIR Pro; Processing: Pixinsight 1.8.9 and Adobe Photoshop