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Horsehead in Ha



B 33 and IC 434: Horsehead Nebula in Orion

RA = 5 hrs 40 min; Dec = -2 deg 27 min

Date & Site:
Imaged on 01/12/12 Running Man Observatory, Carlsbad, CA

Telescope: Vixen 200mm Newtonian (800mm FL F4.0)
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10 with Astrodon filters; Internal autoguiding


Exposures: 15x 15 min subexposures; 3.75 hrs through a hydrogen alpha filter

FOV = 64 x 43 arc minutes

This nebula is located just to the south of Alnitak, the farthest west star on Orion's Belt. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years away.

Ionized hydrogen gas behind the dark nebula is ignited by the nearby bright star Sigma Orinis. 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.

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