The Horsehead in Orion

The Horsehead in Orion


Finally! :) I've been wanting to photograph the famous Horsehead Nebula for quite a while - after all, it is probably one of the most beautiful areas in the night sky. I made a first try a couple of months after starting the hobby and I refrain to post the result... 
The second try was much more successful. However, the focus was not the Horsehead but all the area around the asterism named as Three Kings, the three most bright stars in the photo on this side.

So, three and an half year into the hobby and no decent close-up photo of this area... Well, being a winter nebula (northern hemisphere) does not help but, as it happens, it looks like this year Santa Claus sent a gift in advance: 8 nights of clear skies near the New Moon!!

The Three Kings
The Horsehead Nebula is a famous region in constellation Orion and features different types of nebula: emission (the red), dark (the brown) and reflection (the blue). On the left, in orange/yellow, there's the Flame Nebula, one of the few, to my knowledge, with such color when photographed with RGB. 

The name Horsehead comes from the dark feature with a similar shape in the middle of the scene. It is a dark thick cloud of gas, blocking the light coming from the emission nebula and the stars behind it. It was discovered by Williamina Fleming in 1888.

This is an HaLRGB image taken at Barcarena, Portugal (Bortle 8) in December 2023 in a total of 25 hours. Technical details as follows:

LUM:    239 x 120''  |  16, 17 December 2023

Ha:          96 x 300''  |  18,19 December 2023

RED:       95 x 120''  |  13,14 December 2023

GREEN:  90 x 120''  |  13,14 December 2023

BLUE:     89 x 120''  |  13,14 December 2023

Total: 25h06

SW EQ6-R Pro | TS Optics Triplet APO 800/115 | TS Optics TSFLAT2 0.79x | QHYCCD 268M | Optolong LRGB | Astronomik Ha 6nm | RBFocus Gaius-S | RBFocus Myrrdin 2.3

Using Zenfolio