Barnard33, the Horsehead Nebula


    B33, Dark Nebula in Orion, Size 6.0'x4.0'


Image Details:

We're talking DIM, boys and girls. The Old Horse is outlined by the nebula IC434, which glows in the red, red light of hydrogen beta.  Unfortunately, our eyes are very insensitive to low light levels at these wavelengths. This object is difficult enough that many amateurs go their entire lives without seeing The Horse in real time. I was able to fix that for a number of my fellow observers. Despite less than perfect--if pretty good--skies, the Nag appeared much as he does above on my monitor in near-real time.

B33, located near the bright belt star Zeta in Orion, is about 1600 light years away. What is the Horse, exactly? He's a clump of dark material obscuring the faint glow of IC434, the emission nebula behind him which serves to outline his equine form.

This image was taken with the Stellacam II and Nexstar 11 GPS (with Meade f/6.3 reducer) from the Mobile Astronomical Society's observing site. The site is reasonably good, if not completely "dark" due to the Mobile, Alabama light dome to the east.

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