B33 Complex

B33 Complex [Horsehead Nebula and Friends] (LRGB)


The Horsehead Nebula (B33), Flame Nebula (NGC2024), NGC2023 and IC435 are well known to most astronomers. They are a mix of dark, bright and hydrogen based nebulous fields in the constellation of Orion, right next to one of the stars of the constellation: Alnitak. Alnitak itself is feared by most astrophotographers due to its extreme brightness, which you definitely can also see in this representation of that region. The background nebulosity of IC434 which spans the whole complex reaches a size of approximately 1.5 apparent degrees and is approximately 1500 light years away from Earth.

Especially the Horsehead Nebula is very famous and something even non-astronomers have seen before. The Horsehead itself is actually a dark nebula in front of large scale Hydrogen-α emitting nebulous field IC434. Right next to the Horsehead, on the bottom left side you will find a smaller reflection nebula: NGC2023. That nebulous field is suspected to be about 4 light years in diameter, making it one of the largest reflection nebulae ever discovered. Further “down” in the image a smaller reflection nebula, IC435 hides itself. And right next to Alnitak the grandeur of the Flame Nebula (NGC2024) is visible. The emission nebula is vaguely shaped like a flame and thus this being its namesake. This is not to confuse with the Flaming Star Nebula, which is a wholly different sky object.

Technical Details

Ok I don’t really know where to start here, it has been a while since I have taken this image. It was the first attempt at dual imaging with my TS Optics 130mm and the TS Optics 70mm paired with the ASI183MMPro. It is difficult. The image scales are completely different and the star itself gives such a strong flare (there’s also some kind of weird line which I don’t understand where it’s coming from). It was also shot right next to the moon, which was really unfortunate for that image. Nonetheless, it turned out alright. I’m not super unhappy with this but of course this could be better. Further attempts down the line were not as successful… (more on that on those respective images, though).

Acquisition Details

Shot with Atik 383L+ on TS Optics 130mm f/7@5.5 and ASI183MM Pro on TS Optics 70mm f/6@6 on SkyWatcher EQ6-R

Date: 2019-01-15
L: 26×300s 1×1 binned on Atik 383L+
R/G/B: 15×150s 1×1 binned on ASI183MM Pro

Postprocessing Details

Will eventually follow

Annotated Image

Will eventually follow

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