Horsehead and Flame Nebulas 2020
Horesehead and Flame Nebulas next to Alnitak – the left star in Orion’s Belt.
There have been some improvement since I took a similar photograph exactly 3 years earlier when I had just started astrophotography: Horsehead and Flame Nebulas 2017 🙂
The Flame Nebula is an Emission Nebula about 900-1500 light-years from Earth.
Ultraviolet light from the bright start, Alnitak, excites the electrons in the hydrogen gas of the Flame Nebula making them etmit light in the red spectrum, and a cloud of dark dust and gas lies “in front” of the bright part of the Flame Nebula making it look like a flame.
The Horsehead Nebula is a small dark nebula “in front” of the bright emission nebula designated IC 434 and is 1375 light-years from Earth.
This photograph was taken over 3 nights around Christmas 2020.