Going Deep with the Horsehead and Flame

The Horsehead and Flame nebulas, although popular, are really difficult to image together. The clouds of Hydrogen look best using narrowband filters, but the blue reflection nebula below the Horsehead only appears in wideband, color filters. Further complicating matters is the bright star Alnitak, one of the stars that makes up Orion’s belt. In narrowband, it causes large halo artifacts, and in wideband, it causes glare artifacts instead.

My approach was to gather lots and lots of both narrowband and wideband data to get the best of both worlds, and use the appropriate types of data for the different objects within this gorgeous area of the sky.

Imaged over a total of 43.25 hours. Click for full resolution.

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