Skip navigation


This was my first picture with my second self-modded Canon camera, the 1000D. This camera has liveview which makes focusing and centring targets so much easier than the 300D. The Horsehead is one of the most recognisable objects in the sky, but was very difficult to capture from the site I was at, definitely something I will be giving another go in the future

Camera: Canon 1000D (Ha Modified)
Scope: Skywatcher Explorer 200P 8″ Newt with Baader MPCC
Mount: HEQ5 Pro with ASCOM control
Guiding: Orion ST80 with QHY5
Software: Canon Capture, PHD, Stellarium
Exposures: 12 x 5 minutes = 1 hour total

581px-Orion_constellation_map

The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just below Alnitak, the star farthest left on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. It is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which is similar to that of a horse’s head. The shape was first noticed in 1888 by Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory.

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.

The Horsehead Nebula

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: