Click for larger images



Catalogue and alternative designations

Horsehead nebula, Barnard 33

Type Dark nebula
Position 05 40 59, -02 27 30 
Constellation Orion
Camera and Telescope SBIG STXL6303 and RCOS 36.8cm Ritchey Chretien 
Focal Ratio F9
Exposure Details 285 minutes unbinned Hydrogen Alpha with Astrodon 3nm filter. The colour version is a HaLRGB image with Luminance = 70 minutes and Red = Green = Blue = 50 minutes all unbinned. Astrodon filters were used.
Description The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located about 30' to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion's Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which is similar to that of a horse's head when viewed from Earth.  Visually it is a significant challenge.  A H Beta filter helps.