Nebula -- B33" 11/11/99 Kitt Peak, Arizona
(Image by Adam Block, Willis Greiner
and Cheryl Price. Copyright NOAO, all rights reserved.)
image was obtained using a 16" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
operating at f/6.3. The camera used was a SBIG ST-8; sky chart
software was Software Bisque's The Sky, acquisition and image
manipulation software was Cyanogen's Maxim DL. Three 300-second
exposures were taken and combined to form a raw composite
image. Dark and flat-field exposures were taken and applied
to the raw images. A maximum-entropy algorithm was then applied
to the combined data, resulting in the final image shown here.
Nebula is undoubtedly the best known example of a dark nebula
in the entire heavens. However, it is invisible both to the
naked eye and to the eye of the telescope; only through long
photographic time exposures does its spectacular detail begin
to appear. The Horsehead itself is a great obscuring cloud
of dark matter; what it is obscuring is a hotly argued matter
of debate. It is within our galaxy, and the entire formation
is dozens of light years across.
the image to view a larger version.