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IC434 the Horsehead and the Flame in a wider context


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I did a close up of this a couple of years ago as a three pane mosaic..... it was frankly a nightmare with regards to reflections from Alnitak and certainly two of my friends said that the image was unusable due to the halos and reflections. So it was with some trepidation that I looked at it again, albeit in a much wider context. 

I welcome all thoughts and comments on this rendition. There were no reflections and halos this time and zero was done with Alnitak, it seemed to control itself :)


M: Mesu 200
T: Takahashi FSQ85 0.73x
C: QSI683 3nm Ha filter

27x1800s totalling 13.5 hours of exposure

You can see a larger version on my website here

Mono horsehead_SGL.jpg


Edited by swag72
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2 hours ago, Petergoodhew said:

That's gorgeous Sara. It's so nice to see such a wide field shot for a change. 

Will it remain mono or will there be some colour on the way?

I don't think I'll bother with colour Peter - I think it looks nice enough in mono.

9 minutes ago, Allinthehead said:

That's beautiful sara. Do you think the 3nm filter made the difference in keeping the halos and reflections under control? 

When I had the awful halos and reflections before I was using the 3nm filter, but an RC scope. The refractor has made the difference here for sure in my opinion.

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Superb.  I especially like the textures in the lower right part of the image.  (I am currently trying this with a very similar framing, but, despite having started this just after Christmas, I have manged the grand total of 3 x 20 minute subs so far. D*** weather.)

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Stunning. That's a deep one.

The ODK14 covered our chip with lighthouse beams and spikes zooming this way and that. All we could do was crop out a tolerable Horse and NGC2023. You seem to have had a similar experience. It is so easy to like refractors.


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I could look at this image for hours and not get bored. It just draws you in. And I can't help but think of Elrond summoning the waters around Rivendell to stop the Nazgul crossing, with Gandalf adding the flourishing touch of the horses in the waves.

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Very impressive image, you have captured some very dim details!


If I may give a constructive suggestion? You should try to add a panel above this FOV.

There are some very intricate h-alpha structures to be found in this area, specially around Alnilam, also the faint background streamers behind B33

will be accentuated more with a vertical format. I find a 4:6 format looks more pleasing than the traditional 4:3 for this object (if that makes sense).

Take a peek at the Red plates of the Deep Sky Survey:


Just a thought ... :happy11:




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Very easy to hit the 'like' button on this one, Sara! Another corker.

I have just finished collecting data for my version of this area at around 500mm focal length with a refractor. Ha, R & G filters were absolutely fine reflection wise, but the B filter had a huge lens flare across the image from Alnitak. However, I noticed that it was not nearly so intrusive in the subs from after the Meridian flip, so last night I reshot the B data after the Meridian. Process to follow in the next while.

Go on, you know you want to do an RGB image really!!!

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Thanks Paul, Ken, Chris and Pete for your comments - They are much appreciated :)

@pietervdv - Thank you for your suggestion.... I will have a look at that... if the rain ever stops :)

@PhotoGav - I really don't think I'll have time for RGB..... Pieter has given me an idea for more Ha! And that would tie in with the dual rig, but not with my other plans for the TMB... Oh decisions decisions!!!

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