NGC 2024 with IC 434 and B33

The Flame and Horsehead Nebula


The bright star Alnitak (Zeta Orionis, the easternmost star in Orion's belt) is at the center of one of the most remarkable and picturesque regions in the sky. The radiation of this hot star excites the gas in the surrounding nebulae and causes it to emit light. The nebula strip running south (to the right in the photo above) from Alnitak is the designated IC 434, into which the famous dark nebula called the Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) protrudes from the eastern side. The dark nebula's shape resembles the head and neck of a horse, hence its name. The other nebula on to the east of Alnitak is called the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024). It is overlayed by several dark lanes, the main one of these splits NGC 2024 into two parts.  Its western part is also overlayed by blue glare from the star Alnitak.

Imaging Data

Date: 9-5-2010

Location : Sudbury, Massachusetts

Optics : William Optics ZenithStar 66 Semi Apo Refractor

Filter(s) : None

Mount : PiggyBack Meade LX-200 on ATS Pier

Autoguiding : None

Camera : Canon EOS 1000D Astro-modified

Exposure info : 4 x 120 second Exposures @ISO 1600

Total Exposure : 8 minutes