Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula Region: This is a fairly small part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex,
a large star-forming region in the constellation Orion. The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is a dark nebula, seen in silhouette against the bright emission nebula IC434 behind it.
The Flame Nebula (NGC2024) is an emission nebula of ionized hydrogen, energized by Alnitak, the very bright star right next to it (and the left-most star in Orion's belt, as seen from the northern hemisphere).
This area is about 1,500 light years from us; for scale, the horse's head is about five light years "tall." The bright blue star at the upper part of the image is Alnilam, the middle star of Orion's belt.
The wispy shape of the ionized gases will change over time (thousands of years), as the stellar winds "blow" the nebulae.
This field is a crop of this field, replacing a previous image I took of the the same area.
(HaR)(HaR)GB: Luminance layer consists of a blend of Ha and the R data; The red channel consists of a different blend of the same data; Ha images were 15-minute individual images,
while the RGB were 10-minute individual images.
Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106, SBIG STL11000M (with Astrodon Generation 2 filters), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.
Image Acquisition/Camera Control:MaximDL, working in concert with TheSky v6, all controlled with ACP Observatory Control software.
Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats), aligned, sigma reject performed, and combined in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Finish work (curves and levels,
increasing saturation, sharpening) was done in Photoshop CS5.
Location: Data acquired remotely from Fair Dinkum Skies, near Moorook, South Australia.
Date: Images taken in January, February and March 2013. Larger image posted January 20, 2016.
CCD Chip temperature: Varied from -5C to -15C
Copyright 2013, 2016 Mark de Regt