Horse Head Nebula



Two Frame CCD Mosaic taken with a 130 mm AstroPhysics Refractor.

SBIG 8300 Camera with Astrodon Color Filters.

(4) 1500 sec L + (3) 1500 S RGB each frame, Total exposure time 11 hours.

Loveland, Colorado

January 2011


About the Nebula:

At a distance of 1200 light years, the Horse Head Nebula is located in

the constellation Orion.  Designated as IC 434 it can be found just

below the lower star in Orion’s belt, Zeta Orionis.  Although the

nebula itself is invisible through most telescopes, it shows up on long

time exposures.  The red glowing gas results from hot young stars

which give off ultraviolet radiation.  This radiation ionizes the

surrounding gas cloud causing it go glow red.  The horse head shape

results from a dark gas cloud in front of the red gas cloud.