Horsehead & Flame Nebula
I took this last night and as usual clouds cut the imaging run short, this is a little over 2hrs worth of data – I really want something like 6hrs to really get a nice smooth image….
Anyway, the Horsehead Nebula must be one of the most famous of all nebula’s as it really does look like the head of a seahorse! It’s actually just some dust that is obscuring the glowing hydrogen gas that is behind the dust – the gas is glowing due to intense radiation from the nearby Sigma Orionis star. This nebula is located around 1500 light years from us.
The flame nebula is another nebula that looks like it’s name and is similer to the horsehead above in that the bright star just above the flame (Alnitak, the leftmost star in Orions belt) is knocking electrons out of the cloud of Hydrogen gas causing it to glow, the dark band is as above an area of dust sitting in front.
This has to be my favourite target of all, it fits perfectly in the field of view of my 8″ F4 Newt/QHY8 Camera, I really want to get more hours on this so hopefully over the next few weeks there will be some more clear nights in Edinburgh.