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Tom Galland
July 20, 2006
614
post image

Acquisition Details

Date Posted: July 20, 2006

Equipment card

Description

This image was taken with my Meade 14 OTA @ f/10 using the AO7, and mounted on my MI250. This image took several weeks to acquire the data because I had the camera positioned and aligned for this image and my window for acquisition kept getting smaller and smaller, by the time I quit gathering data I had less than a one hour window to work with. I could have dealt with the dreaded meridian flip by rotating the camera but more time would have been lost re-aligning the image and I did not want to spend the time doing the work involved. A camera rotator would have solved the problem and it will be on my next wish list of equipment to buy. But then that brings in another problem of back focus. The Horsehead Nebula, Barnard 33, is a dark pillar of obscuring dust and non-luminous gas that blocks the light glowing behind from the diffuse emission nebula IC 434. IC 434s glow is excited by ultraviolet light from Sigma Orionis. This spectacular region is but a small portion of a much larger cloud of gas and dust 1600 light years away in the constellation Orion that includes the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), The Great Orion Nebula (M42 and M43), Barnards Loop, and the reflection nebulae around M78. IC 434 was detected photographically in 1889 by E. Pickering. The Horsehead Nebula was first described by E. E. Barnard in 1913. He then catalogued it in 1919.