Mano Prieto Observatory

IC434 Horsehead

IC434 Horsehead

DETAILS: Taken with the LX200 10" at f5.75 using CFW-8 with Hydrogen Alpha filter, and guided with the AO-7. Processed with MaxIm DL and Photoshop. Three hours and fifty minutes of 10 minute exposures.

COMMENTARY: The famous Horsehead Nebula (IC434) is located in the Constellation Orion near the star Alnitak. The Flame Nebula is also in the same region and shows up with the Horsehead in faster scopes. It is about 1200 light-years distant, and composed of a large obscuring cloud of dark matter against a bright nebulosity illuminated by Alnitak (Zeta Orionis) and other bright stars in the background. The "curtains" behind the Horsehead show up nicely in hydrogen alpha. The Horsehead is a difficult object visually through a telescope, requiring a hydrogen beta filter, fast optics and a dark sky.

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