Jeff Terry's Astrophotos/Horsehead and Flame.jpg

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The top image is a sum of twenty-one 5 minute exposures with an Astro-Physics 130 Starfire GT
located at the Red Observatory. The scope was equipped with an SBIG STL-4000xcm.
The scope is mounted on an AP 1200 mount.
The AP 1200 is mounted on a Pier-Tech 3 Adjustable Telescope Pier within a Star Traveler Mobile Observatory.
The first is the full color reconstruction.
The image was guided with the interal guider at 15 sec intervals. The rms error was 0.18 pixel.
The image was collected using Equinox Image.
The image was processed using the 64 bit version of iCCD.
The next three images indicate the location of the Horsehead and Flame Nebulae and come from a plate solve at
This was one of the best nights that I have ever seen in Chicago. I thought I was guiding on a hot pixel for a while. Had to verify it was a star by moving the mount.
I have never seen anything like that before.
The last image is interesting. Apparently, the space shuttle tried to land on the telescope.
The night was intended to be about the observation of the Leonid Meteor shower but we did not see a meteor the entire night.
Worst Leonid Shower ever. Very cold night with sub-freezing weather but the seeing was incredible.
The Horsehead Nebula is Barnard 33 a dark nebul within the emission nebula IC 434.
It is located approximately 1500 light years from the earth.
The Flame Nebula is cataloged as NGC 2024. It is an emission nebula excited by ultraviolet light from the star Alnitak in Orion's Belt.
It is located between 900 and 1500 light years away.
It was nice that I could frame both nebulae in the image. The total exposure time of 105 minutes was a bit low as the image suffers from significant noise.
That was about as long as I could shoot these targets on one night given the limitation of the observatory walls.