Digital Image – The Witch Head Nebula

Here is a target that I have wanted to capture for a long time: IC 2118, better known as the Witch Head Nebula in the constellation of Eridanus, found just to the lower right of Orion. In the image above, the bright star is actually RIgil, or Alpha Orionis, so the constellation border is just below it.  This is an extremely faint reflection nebula believed to be an ancient supernova remnant or gas cloud,  illuminated by RIgel. It lies about 900 light-years from Earth.

A larger, uncropped image can be found right here.

And while I was capturing this target, this happened on one of the subframes:

Both a Quadrantid meteor and a slow moving, tumbling satellite blighted this frame. This is a single frame, so the nebula doesn’t show up much, and it is somewhat noisy, although it was processed in StarTools. Click for a larger image.

Image Info

Canon 60D with an Astronomik CLS filter, using a Canon 100-400 F2.8L lens, piggybacked on the KPO Reflector. Focal Length was approximately 200mm.

60 subframes of 120 seconds each, all at ISO 3200, for a total integrated exposure time of 120 minutes (2 Hours).

Captured and stacked in Nebulosity, processed in StarTools, and finished in Aperture.

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