Cosmic Impressions by Glenn Schaeffer

B33-The Horsehead Nebula & NGC-2024 (The Lump Star)

Horsehead Nebula


The Horsehead Nebula, B33, is the dark nebula in front of the bright red emission nebula IC 434.  Along with the Orion Nebula, these nebulae near the Horsehead are part of a very large complex that is a stellar nursery where stars are forming out of the dust and gas.  Located about 1,500 light years away, this complex is the closest star forming region to our own solar system.  Visual observations of the horsehead is extremely challenging even with my 20" Obsession & dark skies.  To visually observe this object well, one needs a big scope and a H-Beta filter.

To the lower left of the Horsehead is the blue reflection nebula NGC 2023 also known as "The Lump Star".  It is one of the brightest sources of fluorescent molecular hydrogen in the sky.  NGC 2023 forms a cavity in the surface of the cloud, some 450 parsecs from us, producing both a bright visual reflection nebula and a ultraviolet-excited photodissociation region.

Photographic Details:

Date & Location: March 16th  2007, Fort Mckavett, Texas.
Scope: Obsession 20” f/5 on a Tom Osypowski Dual Axis Equatorial Platform, Orion 100mm f/6 Guidescope.
Autoguider: SC1 Mod Celestron Neximage Cam, Shoestring GPUSB guide port interface adapter, and Guidemaster software
Camera: Canon 20D DSLR (non-modded), homemade serial control shutter release cable and DSLR shutter from Stark Labs.
Filters: None
Conditions: Temp 63F, Humidity 48%, Winds 2-5, Transparency 8/10, Seeing 7/10.
Exposures: 35 x 60sec @ 3200 ISO Sub Frames, 9 x 60sec Darks.
Post-processing: 3504x2336 Raw files converted to Lossless 16-bit FITS, calibrated, aligned, and combined with ImagePlus software. Slight wavelet filtering with Registax 4.Final processing PhotoImpact Pro.


Images Copyright 1999-2010 by Glenn Schaeffer