IC434, The Horse Head Nebula

 

(Click on image for full size version)

 

Description: North is to the left in this image.  The horse head in the center of the image is a dark globule known as Barnard 33 (B33) and is part of a dark nebula, which blocks the light from many of the stars behind it.  IC434 is the bright emission nebula which provides the light to outline B33.  Below and just on the edge of the image is the small reflection nebula,NGC2023, which lies in front of the dark nebula.   All of these nebulae are around 1,600 light years away.  The bright star immediately to the left of the horse head is Alnitak (zeta ORI), the easternmost star in the belt of Orion; the bright star at the top of the image is sigma ORI.  Click here for an image with a larger field of view and here for a high resolution image of the horse head itself.
 
Exposure Data: 1/12/2002.  RRGB: 16x5m, 8x5m, 8x5m, 8x5m. RGB binned 2x2. -25C, 2.65 arc-sec./pixel.
 
Processing: Acquired in CCDSoft, reduced, aligned and combined in Mira, Debloom all sub-frames ,RGB combine in Maxim, LLRGB combine, curves, levels, and other adjustments in Photoshop.
 
Optical System: TV-140 5.5 f/5 APO refractor, ST-8E NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, AP900GTO mount.
 
Comments: I was intrigued with the reflection rings from Alnitak and how they showed different colors.