Horsehead Nubula (Barnard 33), NGC 2023, NGC 2024


Today, March 21, 2015, I thought there was a stargazing event of the Iowa City Astronomy Club in Kent Park, Tiffin, IA. The forecast was excellent with clear skies and excellent seeing conditions. So I went out there and arrived just before the sun was going down. This gave me enough time to take 25 flat images of the absolutely clear sky and 25 flat dark images as well. I brought my Celestron Nexstar 102 SLT optical tube assembly (FL=660mm, Aperture 102mm, f/6.5) and mounted it on my Astrozap mount (an equatorial mount to which I had attached a RA motor drive). After polar alignment of the Astrozap mount, I connected my Canon Rebel XT (350D) to the Nexstar 102 SLT pointed it to Alnitak in the constellation Orion and took 111 light frames (30s exposure time, ISO 1600, RAW mode) interspersed with 18 dark frames. I processed everything with Nebulosity Ver. 2 and here is the result. The only minor issue is that NGC 2024, the nebula next to Alnitak is not entirely captured on the image. However, the horsehead (Barnard 33), a dark nebula, is captured beautifully. Also captured is NGC 2023, below and slightly to the left of the horsehead. This is possibly the best astrophotograph that I took so far.

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