Horse Head Nebula – My first successful shot

I have tried in the past to get a reasonable image of the horse head nebula, but have never had much success due to the light pollution and lack of experience.

I wanted to take advantage of the relatively nice whether and started trying to image the Horse Head Nebula. Light pollution has become a problem in my area and after several terrible results in the past using a colour camera, I decided to splurge and purchased a second hand QSI 583 mono camera with filters.

Man I should have got one of these earlier. This is the result of first light for this camera.  The image below is not fantastic and is only monochrome but I am very happy with the amount of detail I can see in this test exposure.

It was windy so the Adaptive Optics unit was working overtime and there was a very bright moon very close to the target, so I used an Astrodon  Ha filter. This is the result of 4×10 minute exposures through an ED80. There are many issues with the image but it was in diffcult conditions with new gear and much cussing as I was working out how to get it all working together. I can see more detail in the nebulous regions then I have ever managed to capture before.  In the past the cloudy region around the horse head always looked plain and featureless. This time I have picked up more detail.

I now want to capture much more data as 40 mins is no where near enough for this faint object, but of course its gonna be cloudy for the next week hehe.


I am an I.T. Manager and Technical Writer for a software company. I love to dabble in "interesting" hobbies. I built my own observatory for Astronomy, Have built 3D printers (before they were common and inexpensive), and occasionally buy synthesizers or other musical instruments even though I can't really play. I just like to dabble (I guess my heart is still in the eighties).