Horsehead Nebula Region

This remarkable area of nebulosity is located near the star Alnitak which is the easternmost star in Orion’s belt. The radiation from Alnitak causes the nebulae to emit light. The Horsehead Nebula runs south (right) from Alnitak and is designated IC 434. It is the bright red region in the photo. The Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) lies just below (east) of Alnitak. Dark dust lanes overlay this nebula giving it the appearance of a burning flame. The blue reflection nebula below and to the left of the Horsehead is NGC 2023 with yet another smaller reflection nebula (IC 435) directly below it. Just to the left (north) of the Flame Nebula lie two more blue reflection nebulae – IC 431 and IC 432. The brownish cloudy material seen in this image is interstellar dust. This area is one of the most photographed areas in the night sky.

OTA:  William Optics Star71

Camera:  Atik 460ex w/EFW2 filter wheel

Filters:  Astrodon Ha/LRGB


Exposure:  Ha:L:R:G:B    120:50:48:48:48  (m)  rgb bin 2x2

Data obtained:  October 2014 & February 2015

Meadowlark Ridge Observatory
Meadowlark Ridge Observatory