Alnitak (ζ Ori) region

This is one of the most intriguing and most photographed areas of the entire sky. The area is dominated by The bright star Alnitak (ζ Ori) - the easternmost star in the Orion's Belt and the near lying Flame nebula (NGC 2024). The star shines energetic ultraviolet light into the nebula knocking away electrons from the huge clouds of hydrogen gas. In the south of Alnitak (which is to the right on the image) is situated the prominent Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33, B 33). Discovered in 1888 by Williamina Fleming, It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of its shape, which is similar to that of a horse's head. The estimated distance of this swirling cloud of dark dust and gases is about 1500 l.y. There is another reflection-emission complex - NGC 2023 (below left from B 33) which is tought to be one of the brightest sources of fluorescent molecular hydrogen.Present on the picture are also other reflection nebulae, annotated on the mouseover image. Another very nice rendition of this region, as well as very well written explanations and a comprehensive listing and crossrefence could be found on my friend Vili Popov's page.


Object Details:

Objects: NGC 2023,NGC 2024, IC 431, IC 432, IC 434, IC 435, B 33
Constellation: Orion
Center of field: R.A. 05h, 41m, 05 s. ; DE. -2°, 18', 00"
Field dimensions: Apr. 110 x 70 '


Technical Details:

Optics: 12" ASA Astrograph at F/3.6
Mount: ASA DDM 85
Camera: SBIG STL-11000M
Filters: Astronomik RGB set
Dates/Times: October 2010
Location: Avren
Exposure Details: R = 50 min., G = 50 min, B = 50 min.
Subexposures: Ha = 30 minutes, RGB = 10 minutes
Acquisition: CCD Soft
Processing: PixInsight, Photoshop CS

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