Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula

Designation: Barnard 33 (Horsehead) – NGC 2024 (Flame)
Hemisphere: Northern
Constellation: Orion
Distance: 1,000 – 1,500 light years
Object type: Dark nebula + Emission Nebula


The Horsehead Nebula and its inseparable companion, the Flame Nebula, are one of the most iconic sights in the night sky, and one of the most photographed by amateurs.

B33 takes its informal name from the thick, dark lines of dust in the centre of the image, shaped like a horse’s head. The dark nebula is embedded in a vast cloud of ionised hydrogen gas (NGC 2023), whose red glue provides perfect contrast to the image. On the left is the Flame Nebula (NGC2024), an emission nebula rich of details.

The two sit just next to Alnitak, the first star from the left in the Orion’s belt, and are part of a large, dark, molecular cloud known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. Both nebulas are estimated at a distance of 900 to 1,500 light-years away.


Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ5-Pro
Main Telescope: William Optics ZS73EDii
Main camera: ZWO ASI294MC-Pro
Main camera filter: IDAS NBZ Dual Band
Guidescope: AstroEssential 50/200
Guide camera: ZWO ASI174MM
Guide camera filter: Astronomik UV/IR cut

Acquisition details

Total integration time: 5 hours
Acquisition: ZWO AsiAir Plus
Processing: PixInsight
Location: Luxembourg

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